Each blog about the S.H.E. Anthology has a unique excerpt to keep things fresh.
When I heard about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, due to my experiences with many deaths in our small community within a short period of time, I felt that the kids and folks might feel less alienated and alone if they were shown the light at the end of their tunnels. I wanted to find a way to be empower the children and their community while revealing to them a HOPE that things can and do get better. I thought that town might enjoy rhetoric from those kindred spirits. PLUS, I felt others including health care professionals might enjoy those types of stories.
After pondering a bit, God illuminated my next step. Thinking of three books that I had partial copyrights to, I began compiling that book. Plus, I immediately had the title of an anthology in my mind. By the way, the S.H.E. Anthology is NOT a romance anthology but it was written by all females. In this book, the girls recollected traumas, mostly related to death, that they faced while in elementary school. Their stories reveal their path out of mourning along with many minor miracles that they encountered. Their tales of hope and inspiration are true accounts from those children turned authors. One writer and illustrator is only six; Thai wanted to be a part of empowering children to survive harsh things in life; so, her piece is story number three in this compilation.
The abbreviation ‘S.H.E’ also refers to Sandy Hook Elementary. Isn’t God the best at setting up coincidences?
This book is meant to empower Newton as well as others that read it. We hope that this anthology, also, sheds some new light on grief recovery in the minds of teachers, mental health professionals, and adults handling major life changes. The compilation’s royalties will help charities involved in grief counseling or with mental health issues- especially for children therapies for the types of traumas witnessing massacres produce. For example, one local group ‘New Hope for Kids’ (Orlando) will get some of the profits from this compilation because the group that started this organization helped Stacey over 20 years ago; her story is in the anthology as well as excerpts in my blog @
In the book, The Evans Terrace Girls give their account of what happened when 7 or more parents died within a year or 2 of each other in a small subdivision of about 110 homes. People started saying their land was CURSED. The children heard those rumors about their subdivision and were scared to death. Then, when a neighbor lost her dad to a blood clot after surgery, the kids felt the need to help. When one of the girls heard the rumor that the mourning family ran out of milk, she setup a traditional solution or proverbial lemonade stand. That day, other angels or young children arrived; many of those neighbor kids ran door to door selling half glasses of hot lemonade. They raised enough quarters to buy milk and other perishables. More importantly, they formed a group that became a club and led their neighborhood out of grief. An excerpt from their story follows.
The girls did charity after charity coming up with new ways to raise and donate money. They were driven. BUT- some members experienced death first hand; so, going to the “Children’s Make a Wish Foundation” might have been too much too soon for Jane since her dad just died from a blood clot. In this excerpt, the reader sees the courage a group can give to one another especially of their fragile members.
We each had to sell three prayer rocks and three gifts of love. “The next meeting, bring back six dollars. You have to sell all your crafts this time,” I declared.
“That’s fine,” Nicole stated. “I can buy a prayer rock and sell two at church. One dollar is cheap.”
“Yeah, I can sell at my swim meet,” Ann added.
“I can give this stuff out as Valentine’s gifts,” Joy said taking six dollars from her wallet. “There I am done selling.”
Mia and I decided to sell our products to neighbors. I am not sure why we chose this approach. However, we sold many of our rocks multiple times. “Here, just take this dollar and keep the rock,” Was a normal response from many neighbors.
Then, we hit Mrs. Shay’s house. She sat us down to ask us the purpose of our sale. “We want to raise money to help sick kids,” Mia explained.
“Yeah, for the Children’s Make a Wish Foundation.”
“What a good cause,” She seemed excited. “Do you know what they do for children?”
“Not really,” I made the mistake of admitting.
“They help kids with terminal illnesses get final wishes,” She explained.
“Terminal?” I questioned aloud.
“Yes, Honey, ones with cancer or other killer diseases,” She patted my head explaining.
I felt like Joy for a moment. I wanted this meeting to be over. I kept thinking, “Do you want the rock or gift of love? Or don’t you?”
Mia was braver, “So, do you want to help us?”
“No,” She said as a matter of fact. “My daughter works for them so I already contribute. But, what a good cause! Good work girls!”
I wanted to cringe. Why did she waste my time? Mia and I had raised fifteen dollars even though we still had one rock and two gifts to sell. As we exited out of earshot of Mrs. Shay, I suggested, “We are done going door to door.” Mia agreed quicker than Joy ever could.
At the next meeting, we counted our money. We had twenty - four dollars from the four members that sold only to friends for a total of thirty - nine dollars. It was mostly in quarters and one-dollar bills. So, Joy counted the money twice to be sure of our amount.
“Okay, now call the people and set up a time to unload this money,” I recommended to mom.
Two weeks later, the six of us piled into mom’s Helping Hands’ van. It held the six of us plus my mother perfectly. Meanwhile, the current rumor was that other girls wanted to add members to our group. I thought the club was perfect and ran smooth because it was small. Oh well, we’d cross that bridge when someone became brave enough to bring it as an idea at an actual meeting. Until then, my main thought, today, was that we had thirty - nine dollars to donate, and I was hungry.
“Can we have pizza after we deliver this money?” I dared to ask after the van was boarded.
“If everyone brings money to help pay for it,” Mom’s tone of voice warned me that this question came late.
“I have money. See!” Ann pulled five dollars from her pocket.
“Me too,” Mia added, “Our mom gave it to us in case we stopped at M D’s or something.”
“I can get money,” Jane mentioned.
“Don’t worry about it,” Mom whispered to Jane. After all, her mom was still searching for work. “I’ll cover your share only.”
“Only?” I whined, as if mom would abandon Joy and me.
“I mean she’s the only girl not mine that I’ll pay for,” Mom cut me off.
Nicole lived across the street. She ran over to her home to get funds. She came back with a bag lunch. Her mom told her to use her allowance or bring what she could find in the pantry. I could tell she felt sort of left out but she said, “It’s okay.”
When we arrived at the foundation, a man greeted us. He was overwhelmed as he took notes on how we raised the money. He was flabbergasted and moved to near tears. Then, with a broad smile on his face, he posed for our historian’s camera.
“Can you take one on this camera, too?” He asked. Mom complied with this request.
He was so happy with our charity that he gave us a free CD made for his organization as one of their fundraisers. We listened to it in the car and read a newsletter he handed us as well.
“I wonder if any of these kids died yet.” Ann wondered aloud.
“I hope not. Change the subject,” Joy interrupted.
“Me too,” Jane giggled. (Her dad died, which is why the club was formed in the first place)
What other minor miracles happened when these angels joined forces with others to make wishes come true? Read The Evans Terrace Girls or their section in the S.H.E. Anthology.
The eBook copy of the S.H.E Anthology is available @
The paperback version comes in BLACK & WHITE on AMAZON @
Plus, the S.H.E Anthology is in color paperback format @
as a KINDLE @
in other eBook formats @ SMASHWORDS.com @
So, come on buy to be inspired and help grieving children.
It’s a WIN-WIN.
My main author page is @ WEEBLY and you can follow my blog, there.