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On January 12, 2010 an earthquake devastated Haiti. The news was filled with horror after horror as the bodies piled up. So many survivors were left injured, sick, and homeless that it was difficult to watch.

I sat with my children and talked about how fortunate we are and we discussed ways to help others.

“Dear Twitterverse”

We were brainstorming ways that we could help. One week later, I was reading and listening to more news reports, when I logged into Facebook and saw a video posted by Greg McQueen. He began simply by saying, “Dear Twitterverse” and laid out a wonderful, crazy plan to generate funds to help Haiti. I thought he was nuts. But I also thought that I had to help.

Stories for HaitiGreg laid out a plan for writers to send in stories in hopes of obtaining 100 of them to combine into a single volume. The 100 Stories for Haiti would depend on the generosity of the writing community. The idea was that all profits would be earmarked to support the Red Cross in Haiti.

Help by Volunteers and Publishers Offered Freely!

Greg unselfishly took months away from writing his own novel to head up a project that became more than any of us imagined it would. His wife graciously designed a cover. Hundreds of writers from around the world sent in stories. Editors volunteered their time.

Publishers agreed to help produce the book. In a period of three weeks, this crazy idea went from an online appeal to a finished manuscript.

Volunteer editors read over 500 submissions to select the 100 included in the final draft. My story was not chosen for inclusion, but I still wanted to contribute to the project in some way. A deal had been struck for an eBook version from Smashwords and a paperback version from Bridge House Publishing, but no audio book. I contacted Greg about exploring this option and with his blessing, began contacting audio publishers.

Twitter projects

You may recall my enthusiasm for the Twitter projects hosted by BBC Audiobooks America. When I contacted them, they graciously agreed to give their time and talent to the cause. The result of their efforts is Stories for Haiti, a collection of 20 unabridged stories from the original book which will be available from iTunes this week.

“The crisis isn’t even close to being over”

The people of Haiti continue to need help. It has been several months since the earthquake, but hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless and living in camps with inadequate conditions. With the rainy season approaching, many of these camps are at risk for flooding. Sanitation conditions are continuing to deteriorate and health issues abound. Haiti is not in the news every day, but the crisis isn’t even close to being over.

How you can help

All proceeds, from every sale of Stories for Haiti, go to the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. If you enjoy digital recorded books, please buy a copy. Enjoy some wonderful stories read by incredible narrators and know that you did your part to help people who desperately need it.

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