How do hearts work in real life? Like this…

Hearts for Hearts is gifting so many with the most amazing holiday EVER–me most of all. My house isn’t fully decorated. I gave out last night before the last of the ornaments went onto the tree. I’m behind in baking and writing and seeing friends. But as of this last week, I’ve personally donated hundreds of books to amazing opportunities for stories to reach out and touch people who need the boost the most this time of year!

Oh, and the kitties would like me to say that they helped. Lots. Actually, they’ve done all the work and I’m just taking credit.

YMCA DeStefano Donation Gizmo HELPS

So much has happened already for the program, and we’re only into the first official launch week. Joyce Lamb at USA Today has spotlighted us, Sheila Clover English at Readers Entertainment, too, and the amazing Barbara Vey at Publisher’s Weekly. They’ve all generously boosted our visibility to their followers readers. Donations are beginning to happen all over the country as a result. More stories about that to come. The excitement I’m hearing from donors and recipients is EXACTLY what we’d hoped for when we dreamed of what HfH could be.

Starting Monday, I’ll be asking readers and friends and fans like you to help get the word out. All the information you need is in the Hearts for Hearts category on the blog or my website Hearts for Hearts page. You can also follow my Author page on Facebook to keep up. Won’t you consider helping?

Why am I taking the time to do this?

Why am I asking you to get involved?

HfH Image

Hearts for Hearts is such an easy concept for people to grasp, it costs you nothing but a little time and the effort it takes to reach out into your community and see where a need might be. Building community, one story at a time, is what I’ve been doing with my novels from the very start. The chance to see that come to life outside the pages is just too tempting to pass up.

I’ve asked three people in my personal circle of friends and contacts, and the doors have opened to no less than 5 donation opportunities. My husband and son and I are depleting our personal libraries for books to give. I asked a handful of author friends, and books from their homes and backlists instantly began pouring in. No one says no. No group so far has said, “Books? Meh. Who wants those???”

The end of last week alone, I dropped off 60 children and young adult books for an upcoming foster care event. I had my third meeting with the director of my local YMCA, where my family and friends’ donations will be seeding senior and children’s libraries for our branch that just might be turned into mobile reading programs and could eventually be the prototype Y’s all over our county (where a lot of members rely on some sort of scholarship to join or lived on fixed incomes). So far I and the friends who’ve helped me have donated 200+ books to that opportunity, and we’re talking about staging a book drive for their members to build on what Hearts for Hearts has begun.

YMCA DeStefano Donation Husband

YMCA Destefano Donation Anna

There’s so much need in our world. Books are such a blessing. I do write about community and some of the very real challenges we face in our families and towns . I don’t pull my punches in what I write, and the same can be said for Hearts for Hearts. We need to reach out. We need to see where we can help. And even if we have very little money or time ourselves, we need to believe we CAN make a difference this holiday season and beyond.

And the result? My heart is lighter than it has been in many holidays. This can be a touch time of year for me. But as I look outward and reach outward and contemplate how lucky I am and how I can bright a bit of joy and inspiration into someone else’s life, the sadness of holidays past don’t settle on me at all today. I truly am receiving so much more than I’m giving!

I can’t wait to deliver the next batch Hearts for Hearts donations!

I can’t wait to hear from you, once you find a way to pay story forward in your area!

Let me know when you do.

Post a status update on my Facebook Author Page or email me at Or comment here on the blog, in the Hearts for Hearts Category.  At some point, we’ll have a picture drive, so we can see all the great moments Hearts for Hearts has helped create, and we’ll pick a winner who’ll receive a cool prize–so snap some selfies or whatever as you go.

Give from your heart my friends.

I HIGHLY recommend it!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “How do hearts work in real life? Like this…”

  1. Jeanne says:

    After the holidays, I’ll start collecting books to donate!

Leave a Reply