Good morning all.
This morning I'd like to depart from my usual publishing industry musings. As a few of you know I started a 3 month research contract for a new company on Friday, so had the pleasure of the usual office meet and greets for much of the day. I'm fairly certain I'm going to wind up calling 95% of those I met 'Him over there', 'The IT guy' or 'mate' as a nice catch all, but one of my new colleagues did make an impression.
Why? She's throwing herself out of a place to raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation.
I have to admit, I love charity gigs. I've done a few myself, but throwing myself out of a plane would probably kill me because I have a (not very) slight aversion to heights.
As the old joke goes, 'How long have I got until I land if both the parachute and the back up fail?'
'The rest of your life.'
The second reason I was impressed is the great choice of charity. For those that haven't dealt with Make a Wish here's a very brief outline.
There are 20,000 or so children (aged 3-17) with a life threatening illness here in the UK. The ethos behind Make a Wish is to give these kids something positive to focus on rather than endless hospital appointments, needles and even chemotherapy. A positive outlook can vastly improve a prognosis.
The sad reality is that some of these kids won't make it. It's not something we ever talk about in public, but those of us with no, or relatively few, health problems are absurdly fortunate. Illness, lack of mobility and a daily regimen of pills never even cross our minds. These kids deserve a chance to live, and a big part of that is having a wish fulfilled.
Quite often these are fairly modest wishes. A quick glance at the list of recently granted wishes gives a flavour. A meeting with Stephen Fry, a trip to Thomas Land, a ride on a steam engine or a trip to the theatre. Things I know I have taken for granted.
This year, they want to grant a wish to every child that gets in touch with them. 1400 or so are expected to call or write this year, and it will cost £6.8million to achieve this, as well as needing a volunteer network of more than 650 supporters.
My new colleague, Serena, recognises this. In two weeks time she hopes to raise £395 (which covers 10% of the cost of one wish) through her skydive. To do so, she really needs your support. Every single penny counts here. Donations can be made online here.
If you can't spare a few pounds, then perhaps you might like to consider Challenging Yourself to conquer a fear or perform a feat of some kind.
Finally, for those who want a simple but efficient way to donate you can use Make-A-Wish's Amazon affiliate link. This gets them a 5% donation every time you shop at Amazon, with no cost to yourself (so really, there's no excuse not to!). That can be done here.
If you've got any questions about the jump then please feel free to comment, or get in touch with Serena directly. The easiest way to do so is to join her on twitter via @SerenaModen
Thank you all, and we'll be back later this week with a series of articles on using KDP Select to maximum effect.