Stephen Deas just posted a beautiful note following on from our efforts for Genre For Japan. It made me reflect, too. I’ve had a number of nebulous thoughts about the experience since the hubbub died down, and I wrote a response to Stephen’s post which I’d like to repost here, as I’m not sure I can get much clearer on it on trying to rephrase (but do go read what he had to say first!):
Thanks for your wonderful post. It’s a small amount of money in the context of the disaster, but a large amount of money compared to what any of us could have done on our own. It’s almost exactly equal to a year’s salary, for me, so I’m really pleased to have been able to raise a sum of money incalculably more than I could have dreamed of donating myself.
I felt utterly impotent on seeing the images and hearing the news from Japan. I couldn’t imagine having my life swept away like that. I knew there was little I could do, myself, so when Amanda suggested this, I was utterly taken with the idea. No single one of us could have done anything like what we’ve managed to achieve together. We were overcome when we realised people were willing to put up really special prizes, enabling the auction to become a real event. Robert’s lovely design allowed us to present the polished feel that helped people trust our madcap idea. We also couldn’t have reached so many people if bloggers hadn’t taken up the cause and spread the word. And it all would have come to naught without the generosity and enthusiasm of the bidders, who between them raised a sum none of us could have dreamed of.
I really hope the people who bid on the items and the people who donated feel that they were a part of something special. I know I do. I hope the person who won a year’s worth of books from Tor smiles to think of what they helped us do when each one arrives. I hope the people who will now be characters in books will enjoy not only the unique delight of their prize, but will also think of Japan, and what they did to help.
We don’t know how the money will be spent – we leave it in the capable hands of the Red Cross – but we know it will make an impact. A little money goes a long way when people are without homes, food, jobs. We can’t help everyone who was hurt by this crisis, but we shouldn’t expect to be able to. I think the money we raised will make a great difference to the lives of a considerable number of people that none of us will ever meet.
Thank you for your donated items, Stephen, and thank you for this post.