Today was the Little Prince’s first day back at school since the fire. The semi-controlled chaos was intense, but the kids are bouncing back quickly. They have their teachers and classmates with them, and that helps a lot. Plus, now it’s a matter of building routines in a new space. All the organizing and volunteering and sorting and frantic activity has begun to take effect.
The kids at the schools around the district are uniformly welcoming and kind. Even the high-schoolers volunteered to help get students on the buses at the central collection point, which was their campus.
Now some of the hardest work begins. Rebuilding.
I can’t keep track of all the fundraisers, so I’m going to concentrate on just three of them.
First: the Evil for Crestline Auction. The ELEW got together–the fabulous Skyla Dawn Cameron and Dina James organizing like mad organizing things–and put together a simply bang-up auction. It includes things like three signed copies of Nameless–that’s the first book in my new YA series, and it isn’t out until April, so you’ll be getting it before anyone else and signed to boot. A signed copy of Jim Butcher’s Small Favor, isn’t that incredible? And there’s stuff like manuscript critiques, a lawyer’s reading of your manuscript to give your portrayal of legalese proper depth and verisimilitude, being able to name a character in upcoming novels, drink and chat at a convention with an industry pro, a package of treats (including Tim Tams!!!!) from Australia–the list goes on and on and on. A custom My Little Pony! Query letter critiques! All proceeds will go directly to Crestline.
If you can’t bid, but you have even just five bucks (because even the price of a latte would help), you can donate to the Crestline Fund at the Evergreen School District Foundation. (Just choose “Crestline Elementary” in the drop-down menu.) The Foundation is a nonprofit, so the donation may be tax-deductible. How cool is that?
There’s a book drive going on as well, since the school library and all the in-class libraries were burned to ash. You can send your (non-manky, K-5 appropriate) contributions in to the drive; if you have a small box or so you can send it to my PO box and I will schlep it to the Little Prince’s teacher, who can distribute it among her colleagues from there.
If you can’t do any of those things, but you can boost the signal about the auction, I would really appreciate it. Every tiny bit helps, especially when you have to build a school from the ground up. Already the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming, and I hope that at least some small good will come out of this–as I keep telling the Little Prince, people are pulling together to help, and just the fact that they are helps too.
I’m pretty exhausted from helping set up the classroom and run herd on twenty-odd kids, not to mention getting the Prince to the new place and catching up on all the work that I haven’t had a chance to touch since Sunday. So I’m going to go hug my little warrior and look over the paperwork he brought home, and count my blessings to be so, so lucky.
Thank you. Thank you all. It’s rare for a writer to be without words, but I am speechless with gratitude, and I wish there was another term stronger than “thank you” so I could use it. There isn’t, so I’m left with repeating it: thank you. Thank you from the Little Prince, and his teacher, and her colleagues, and the 500 Crestline kids who your goodwill and generosity has had such an impact on already. Thank you.