Take it away Luna.
We’ve been talking a lot lately about Write Dreams, would you care to tell us what it is and what it aims to do?
Write Dreams is a kidlit auction we (Marieke, Amanda & me) have set up to raise money for Donna’s Dream House in order to help them with restoration costs following an arson attack on the 23rd December 2011.
In the middle of the night, arsonists broke into the office building and adjacent health centre. They stole essential computer equipment and damaged the suite, before setting fire to the furniture. When the fire was discovered, it was almost too late. The building was so badly damaged that it may have to be rebuilt completely, with total damages estimated in excess of £80,000/$125,000. More importantly, the fire destroyed photographs and mementoes of Donna - and hope.
What is the cause behind Write Dreams?
Donna Curtis died New Year’s Day in 1996, she was only 20. Having spent her last four years fighting cancer Donna saw the suffering of many terminally ill children and vowed her legacy would help them live a little more happily in the time they had left.
Donna’s Dream House is a holiday home for children and teenagers with life-threatening or terminal illnesses. The Dream House is run completely by volunteers and encourages the imagination. It’s how any child would imagine the perfect holiday to be. It’s full of light and laughter, fun and - most importantly - life. Since its start, Donna's Dream House has hosted and helped almost 380 families. 300 of those children have now sadly passed away, but the families who are left behind will always cherish the memories from Donna’s Dream House.
Why is this so important to you and Amanda and Marieke?
I’ve been sitting here for 20mins trying to decide how best to answer this… my mum died of lung-cancer when I was 11. She was ill for months and spent her last Christmas in a hospice. My father tried to explain this to me but I just thought she’d get better. The last time I saw her I was too occupied with playing with my nephew that I barely said hello. She died on the 2nd January and I didn’t tell her I loved her when I went home the day before.
Just over a year and a half later my father was in hospital to have his foot amputated. And I hadn’t learned, too excited about going into town I was only there for a short while. (To be fair to my younger self, it was supposed to be routine surgery.) When I came home from school the next day the doctor was on the phone to explain he had died during the night.
If I tried, I could maybe scrape together 10 memories of my mother, sadly even less of my father. I can’t even fill a photo album with what I have… while it’s not the same as watching your own child suffer from a life-threatening illness, making memories, having something to hold on, is why this is SO important.
|My Mum & me.|
I don’t remember this but it’s worth more to me
than my entire book collection.
(And that’s saying something!)
Marieke spent a large part of her childhood in hospitals with doctors not always convinced she’d come out again. Making memories then and continuing to do so is the same lesson I learned.
Memories can be little things. One of my favourite memories is playing hide-and-seek with Marieke and two other friends in Covent Garden. If was cold, very confusing to the people around us (this was two years ago) BUT so much fun.
Amanda has the mom’s view in this, the fear of your child having a terminal illness, the feeling of helplessness. Donna’s Dream House can’t cure the illness but it can help support children and parents.
So what’s the plan with the auction? When will it start and what can people who want to help do?
We have a (still) growing list of awesome donations from writers, publishers, etc.
Starting on Monday the 16th January we will be opening the auction, posting several items per day. Among other things, we have a full signed set of Tabitha Suzuma's books, all of Alyson Noël's Immortals series with some awesome swag, Waterstone's Children's Book Award-winning Artichoke Hearts, ARCs, critiques, and many more.
The event will last two weeks.
Where can we find Write Dreams and follow along?
The auction will be held here: Write Dreams and is starting on Monday the 16th January. You can also find us on Twitter where we will be posting info about specific auctions as well as general updates, etc…
Any other comments you want to make about Write Dreams or Donna’s Dream House?
Just that it’s a really worthy cause and the donations are awesome, so you need to check it out!
Thanks so much to Luna for taking the time to appear on Rach Writes... Make sure you all head on over to Write Dreams and follow along, then turn up on January 16 to bid on their awesome items.