SpReAd the Love Book Challenge 2015

This post is part of the SpReAd the Love movement started in the Richard Armitage fandom by JazzBaby1 and Obscura. It has included all sorts of giving with this time being an annual event of book giving in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. In that interest, I’ve decided to give some books to my “local” children’s hospital. I put local in quotes because the hospital is four hours from where I am, but I consider it my local children’s hospital, and it also holds a special place for SO and me.

During the weeks after SO received his transplant, he and I stayed at a hotel across the street from the children’s hospital and came to know many parents and grandparents of patients, also got to know their stories, and in some cases made some good friends. One of the recurring comments among these family members was the desire to not only see their children or grandchildren get well but also to see them smile and be lighthearted. When this challenge came around a couple of years ago, I knew immediately what I wanted to do, and this year I’m finally doing it! Later this month, we will be giving the hospital several copies of three of our favorite children’s books. Each of these has a hardcover and a library binding which hopefully means they will last awhile.


An autobiographical picture book celebrates dePaola’s childhood relationship with his grandfather–“We’re named after each other, Tommy. That’s why I want you to call me Tom instead of Grandpa.” Together they read the Sunday comics, share stories, or tend to the butcher section of Tom’s store. While the actual story line is minimal–Tommy gets in trouble for scaring classmates with a chicken-foot prank Tom taught him–the fans who cherish these reminiscences (adults as well as children) will welcome this skillful evocation of an all-important intergenerational bond. Touches of old-world humor and wisdom add sparkle to the tale, in which dePaola’s idiosyncratic, apple-cheeked characters are rendered in bright, sunny colors. The sepia-toned portraits, simulating pictures from a scrapbook, that adorn the jacket and title page enhance the book’s nostalgic tone. Ages 4-8.




Children definitely will not keep straight faces. — “Kirkus Reviews”
Ages 3-8.







Miss Nelson is Missing


Miss Nelson can’t control her crazy classroom because she’s just too nice. But when she disappears, her replacement is the hard-as-nails, detention-loving, recess-canceling, homework-overloading substitute teacher Viola Swamp! With the Big Test approaching, the kids suddenly realize how much they miss Miss Nelson and they’ll do anything — including hiring a private eye — to solve the mystery of her disappearance and bring her back. Ages 4-8.


If you would like to join the Challenge, there is more information here.

Christmas in July

Alert: there is nothing flippant about this post. Well, almost nothing.

It's a hot day where I am. A little snow right now sounds good, and believe me when I say that's quite a statement from me who is all caught up on snow for a few years. Nevertheless, I could use a little Christmastime weather for a couple of hours as I gear up for a fundraiser I've been participating in for a number of years.

The goal is to raise funds for an organization that helps people in Uganda. The original mission was to help children abandoned by their prostitute mothers. It has grown into help for the mothers as well, but help in a way that keeps giving. They are taught how to start their own businesses so they can get off the street, and it's working. The program was started by a woman I know who went to Uganda to do a bit of mission work for her church. She never came back. Well, we do see her a few times a year, but mostly she lives in Uganda and has even adopted a Ugandan child who is precious!

All of this has made me think of others who promote charitable causes. So in honor of Richard Armitage's encouragement to direct our giving to those in need instead of to him, I come with this post. Please note this is not designed to solicit donations for the Ugandan mission but rather to respect the requests of Richard Armitage.

For those not familiar with RA's comments about giving, he has talked about it in his messages to fans. His latest message (December 2009) has made it very easy for people to donate:

Dear Friends,

Its that time of year again and I wanted to extend my goodwill and best wishes to you all. It has been a busy, rather difficult year for all of us, and coming to the end of a decade is a great time to think and gather strength for the next one.

Thank you for the continued support, which has been offered to me this year, I hope that I can continue to ‘carve a path’ which is both exciting, diverse and honorable to this crazy art form.

Thank you all, also, for the wonderful gifts which I have finally received after my travels abroad. I will eventually give thanks by letter. I do however, wish to ask, especially at this time of year, and this particular year, as I look at the small mountain of carefully chosen gifts purchased with those hard earned pennies; wracked with guilt when I think of the potential that your collective generosity could provide for those who have much less than I do; for you to pause and consider. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all your support and kind words, these are gifts enough, and I would like to recommend two other charities which I have chosen to support this year in addition to Barnardo’s and Shelter. I would like to recommend Childline and The Salvation Army, as potential recipients of a small offering.

I have also set up a page at http://www.justgiving.com if you go to the site and enter my name, you can chose from the 4 charities I have mentioned, and give a small donation, anonomously, if you like or with a message. I hope this makes it a little easier and more fun.

I hope the Christmas spirit runs high through all the families gathering together, and for those who are alone, to enjoy the simplicity of a day when the our corner of the world stops for a few hours. Yes there is only one left!!!

Drink, be Merry, be kind, be thankful.

I wish everyone joy for Christmas, and hope for a happy 2010.

With love

Richard’s Just Giving Pages:




The Salvation Army

Oh, sure it sounds easy for him to say since he’s not hurting financially, but the man does not have to say anything. I commend him for taking the time to do that and doing it in a way that’s personal. There is nothing like personal contact. It makes both the initiator and the recipient better people.

Letter courtesy of RichardArmitageOnline.com and Richard Armitage of course.

To read RA’s other messages go here.

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com

edit: I probably should have said this earlier, but oh well, I’m saying it now. Having worked for quite a few years in philanthropic endeavors with various organizations, I know how tough the middle of the year can be for them. At Christmas there is a festive mood that fosters a sense of goodwill and prompts people to share. In July not so much. So even though I know times are tough for a lot of people, I think it’s helpful to have a reminder that there are probably others who are in more need than us. Thanks for listening.