Darleen: How did you hear about what happened in Joplin? What was your response?
Crystal: I don’t have much time for TV and catch most of my news online or from family and friends. I remember hearing about a tornado in Missouri last month. However, I didn’t realize the level of destruction. I was more informed recently via Donald Verger’s Facebook account.
When did you decide to donate?
When I was reading about the Joplin Art Project via Donald Verger’s tweeted links on Twitter. I was deeply moved and my heart ached for those children and their families affected by the tornado. It wasn’t a question of whether or not I was going to give when I read what Donald was doing. It was an automatic yes. I love children and if I can provide reading material they will enjoy that can transport them to a magical place during a tragic time, I am going to do so! If my family were in the same situation and it was my daughter’s school that was affected, I would want someone to do the same for her.
What are you donating, specifically?
The school system in Joplin was drastically affected by the tornado and they are in great need. I am donating 30 signed copies of my book BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale to an elementary school in Joplin. I am sending them along with a postcard from the person who inspired me to do so, Donald Verger.
How do you think students at the Joplin schools will benefit from your donation?
I hope to encourage and inspire the children. An author many, many miles away from them cares about them. Perhaps my book can provide a little escape from their everyday stresses and hopefully create a lasting memory of hope.
Have you ever done anything like this before?
I have donated single books to schools, but never this amount of books to one school. I am a giver by nature and I have donated to other worthy causes. Someday, I believe to give on the level that Donald Verger does.
How did Donald Verger’s Joplin Art Project inspire you? What are your thoughts about the project?
Donald’s Joplin Art Project is an amazing project. It isn’t everyday that a super busy, talented, world famous photographer takes time out of his extremely busy schedule to give back. Donald Verger created a series of postcards that inspire peace and hope and is sending 25,000 of them to Joplin survivors. He has an open invitation to other artists and individuals to join the Joplin Art Project by using their creative talents to help support the people of Joplin. I thought this is right up my alley. I am a children’s book author and Joplin schools are in need of books.
How would you encourage other artists to participate?
I would ask them to look deep within themselves and ask this question. If it was your child, your family, your loved ones, your hometown, you, would you want someone to lend a helping hand? If the answer is yes, then ask yourself what it is that you could to for Joplin and remember anything helps.
Is there anything else you would like to say or add?
Thank you for providing a way for me to give on a level that I am able presently. It means so much to me to be able to help out. I pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding for Joplin’s residents.
See Don’s website here. Learn more about the Joplin Art Project. Watch Don’s interview on WGME. Click to buy his 2012 11×14 flower poster. View Don’s Google profile. Click here to read about Don in the Joplin Globe and Press Herald. Watch his interview with Kim Block or see his escape from the Joplin tornado.