I hardly know where to begin. I wasn't at the marathon, but friends were. Family. Loved ones. Everyone made it through unscathed.
The manhunt happened disturbingly close to me, but again, no one I know was hurt.
That doesn't mean that my city has made it through unscathed. That doesn't mean there isn't a tremendous amount of work and healing to be done.
I've spent a lot of time wondering what my place is in all of this. Should I donate money to the One Fund? Should I be contributing to charity auctions? Should I find a role for the non-profit I work with to play in all of this?
Those are all amazing answers, and I commend the people who want to help via those routes. But I remember being a senior in high school as the Twin Towers were hit, and I remember what it felt like to be old enough to understand and young enough to feel utterly lost, to feel all my security gone, to feel any semblance of faith in the world torn away from me.
The Boston Marathon is a family event, and the amount of small children that saw this and were impacted by this is unimaginable. By now most of us have heard about Martin Richards, an eight year old boy that died in the blasts. His family are deeply in need of support and healing, and I know the One Fund will make great strides in helping them.
But for his friends, his classmates, his community, I can only imagine what it feels like to explain this to a child. To have to talk to a child about what terror really means.
I think there's something else I can do. And maybe it's simplistic, and maybe it's not, but it's the one thing that felt like an honest, organic choice to me. And that's books.
I can't give the children of Boston their safety or their faith back. But I can give them a place to escape, and imagine, and dream again, because that's what books always have been and always will be. They are a beautiful and sacred space of healing and love.
And I'm hoping you'll help me.
I'm going to donate as many books as I can to the Boston Public Library and to Martin Richard's school, Neighborhood House Charter School. Any books! Right now I plan to give middle grade books and younger to NHCS and YA and older to the Boston Public Library, so all books are welcome. All subjects are welcome.
If you're an author, and would like to donate a copy of your book, please sign it and instead of your usual inscription, write a message of hope, courage, or resilience. Please don't mention the attack, or the losses, or the scars Boston now bears.
If you're not an author but would like to donate a book, I absolutely welcome the donation. Please do the same and write a message of hope, courage, or resilience inside the book.
Please email me at acgaughen @ gmail.com and I'll give you my address for mailing.
Maybe we can help Boston heal in a really small way. I appreciate the help, and I would really appreciate it if you pass this along.
Much love xx