Today is the big day!
Before us is a great opportunity to partner with one another to raise awareness about human trafficking and join together to raise funds towards their rescue through Kimberly L. Smith’s foundation, Make Way Partners. And yet, even as we are set to launch, one-fourth of our population has been impacted by Super storm Sandy and many areas remain in distress. Far too many people have seen their homes destroyed and many others have suffered the painful loss of loved ones. The winds of Sandy have literally caused us to adjust our sails as we respond to the heartache in our own country. Writers and Readers Reach Out 2012 is enlarging the vision!

As you make your donation to Make Way Partners, please consider making a matching donation to relief efforts underway for our neighbors on the East Coast. We believe strongly that our being mobilized to respond to the needs of our neighbors at this very moment is no coincidence. We’ve been given much, let us give much.
It’s that time! This Nov. 1st we will officially launch our 30 Days of Thankfulness at All Things Southern. Longtime readers will recognize it as our annual humanitarian effort designed to coincide with the Thanksgiving season. So many of you have joined with me in past years to express our gratitude by reaching out to those in need. Remember when we worked with Life Today to drill a well in Southern Africa? Even as you read these words that well continues to supply fresh life-sustaining water to an entire village. For that, we thank you once again!
The recipient of this year’s efforts will be Make Way Partners, an organization that works with individuals, churches and other groups to help prevent and combat the evil of human trafficking and all forms of modern-day oppression. I was in the planning stages of our drive and deeply burdened by what I was learning about human trafficking when I read Passport through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith. I knew immediately that MWP, the organization founded by Kimberly and her husband, was where we needed to focus our attention this holiday season. (Download a free chapter of Passport Through Darkness.)

In addition, this will be our second year to partner in our drive with other authors and their respective communities. The goal of Writers and Readers Reach Out 2012 is to combine our individual platforms and thus multiply our efforts. (Honestly, I’m hoping to start a tsunami of thankfulness and hope!)

Those words are from our colleague Shellie Tomlinson who was in the planning stages of the drive and personally burdened by what she was learning about human trafficking when she read Passport through Darkness, by Kimberly L. Smith. She knew immediately that Make Way Partners, the organization that Kimberly and her husbanded founded, should be the recipient of this year’s efforts. Make Way Partners works with individuals, churches, and organizations to help prevent and combat the evil of human trafficking and all forms of modern-day oppression.

If you’ll take the time to read just a few of the real-life stories on Kimberly’s blog of women and children who Make Way Partners has rescued from slavery, and for whom they provide long-term care, we believe you’ll want to participate in this beautiful journey of restoration.

Eight years ago, Kimberly began chartering small mission planes to fly her into the war zone of Sudan where U.S. sanctions and Islamic regimes rendered thousands of orphans unadoptable. Providing food and opening a first-grade school in a lawless land with no other educational systems, MWP partnered with an indigenous leader to rescue and care for these most vulnerable orphans. Year-by-year, they’ve added a new grade to their school. Now, graduating eighth grade, the orphans of MWP have more education than many current leaders of their nation. It is time to build a high school, making it possible to raise up the next generation of educated Christian leaders who will stop the cycle of violence and slavery.

Read about a few of these amazing students and the complete high school proposal here:

We are so excited about the opportunity for us to join this effort! To quote the late Hellen Keller, “It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” It feels so right to quote Ms. Keller to the tribes of writers and readers joining with us as it was the power of a word, written in the palm of her hand, that unlocked Ms. Keller’s heart and mind and subsequently impacted untold lives around the world!

As readers and writers, no one knows the value of education better than we. Let’s dream big and build a high school for the world’s most vulnerable orphans!

Can we catch this vision together? I think so. In years past, I’ve asked you to donate a certain small dollar amount. This year, I’m respectfully asking you to consider the weight of the subject and the scope of the work being done by Make Way Partners and make your own personal decision about your contribution. What would we be willing to do or give if it were our children and grandchildren being bought and sold?

You can make your donation online using this donate button. It’s linked to Make Way Partners.


In the field that asks where you learned about Make Way Partners, please copy and paste the following label: WritersandReaders,ShellieRushingTomlinson

If you prefer to send a check or money order that address is: Make Way Partners, P.O. Box 26367 Birmingham , AL 35260

In addition to donating, everyone can be of incredible assistance by using the power of social media to spread the news of this drive. When twittering or pinning this drive please use hashtags #WritersandReaders2012 or #WR2012. (The twitter handle is @shelliet)

Authors and Bloggers: It’s not too late to join this effort. If you’d like to participate please comment below and contact with your blog site, Facebook page, website address, or any other acknowledgement you would like to use for your readers to track this opportunity.

Thirty days of thankfulness. It’s not a long time, but it’s a perfect time to join hands and do something grand, together. ~Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

As always, we love to hear from you.