How books gave refugees a helping hand… by Karen McCombie

This is often how I watch the news. Especially stories about the refugee crisis.


And like most normal, non-millionaire, non-expert people, I think, but what can I do? How on earth can I make a difference?

Well, author – and Girls Heart Books buddy – Fiona Dunbar felt exactly the same way, then had a lightbulb moment. What if lots of children’s authors got together and offered book-related stuff for an auction? *PING!* Authors4Refugees took shape, popping up everywhere on social media. Authors offered signed books, names of bidders as characters in next novels and school visits. And then it snowballed, with editors and agents offering their expertise, people offering seaside cottages as writing retreats, and even author Philip Ardagh offering a bonkers-sounding picnic, while illustrator Axel Sheffler drew!

As for me, I offered a bundle of books + a character name, and put a bid in too! Just arrived are signed copies (to my daughter) of ‘Crush‘ and ‘7 Days‘ from Eve Ainsworth. (Thanks for the lollipop too, Eve!)

So, just how much did Authors4Refugees manage to raise?


The bidding ending a week ago, and Fiona announced that the total was… *drum roll, please!* more than £22,000!! That’s a HUGE amount in a TINY amount of time that will be directed straight to existing refugee charities.

I guess it’s a great example of people making more of a difference when they come together. Though it was just ONE person, the amazing Fiona Dunbar, who made it happen! A yay and a whoo for that lady, please!

yayKaren McCombie

[Photos: Dog-behind-the-sofa/blog.dogbuddy.com, Helping Hands/ueslifecoach.com]

4 thoughts on “How books gave refugees a helping hand… by Karen McCombie

  1. Only just seen this – thanks so much, Karen! Very much hoping some of this cash can be applied directly to those being evicted from the Calais Jungle, going to see if I can find out more. X

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