Many of us in the PR business write for a living as well. This post is dedicated to helping a fellow writer. I logged onto the home page tonight for the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I’ve been a member for many years and while I’ve had to miss the last couple of annual conferences in New York I stay connected through email and, of course, by checking in on the site as often as I can. Tonight when I logged onto the site I read about a fellow member, Lori Hall Steele, who is very seriously ill with a severe case of Lyme Disease as well as ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Due to the both illnesses this single mother cannot work. Currently, she’s bedridden and on a respirator. Her story is even more heartbreaking since the bank is threatening to take her house.
Why am I telling you this in a PR blog? For two reasons—first, to demonstrate a publicity effort that I think is not only brilliant but compassionate, too, something that takes advantage, in the best possible way, of social networking and second, because someone asked me to. Here’s the message from ASJA:
Help Rescue a Seriously Ill ASJA Member from Foreclosure
ASJA is holding a blogathon to benefit ASJA member Lori Hall Steel, a single mom battling chronic Lyme disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), who faces the loss of her home to foreclosure because she’s too sick to work. ASJA members and nonmembers have joined together to blog about Lori’s plight and raise money to save her home.
She’s received some emergency support from ASJA, but more is necessary. I’m glad the group has helped her. It reminds me of the extra money we’re asked to give each year when we renew our membership. I often extend a silent thank-you for my good health when I send in my money, hoping I’ll never have to ask but knowing that if I do, I’ll probably get at least a little help if necessary.
The economy is affecting all of us in so many different ways, but one thing I know for sure is the way it’s making us feel as if we’re in one community. It doesn’t feel so scary when we compare notes. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to last forever when we discover that we’re not alone. In the same way, I’m hoping that by doing my part here, taking one post to write about and ask for help on her behalf, I’m doing something to help my writing community.
I’m including here a link to an essay of Lori’s that appeared on June 23, 2008 in the Washington Post. Her writing is both beautiful and prescient. Maybe together we can help her. Again, here is the link if you’d like to learn more.