Friday, April 26, 2013

Making a Difference

Back in 2010, I wrote about an anthology from Harlequin called More Than Words, Volume 6.  (read the post here) This book, sixth in a series of collections that tell the stories of real-life women making a difference in their communities, is part of Harlequin's philanthropic More Than Words program.  All proceeds from the sale of these books are reinvested into the program which, according to their website, aims to enhance the well-being of women through the following goals:

*  Raise awareness about worthy causes that are of concern to women
*  Provide financial assistance to these important charities
*  Engage employees, authors and readers and the general public in worthy causes and provide opportunities for them to make a difference.

Nominations for the 2014 awards are now open and Harlequin is inviting you, the readers, to tell them about the real-life heroines who inspire you...or tell them about yourself!  Nominations will be open until August 9th and can be submitted by completing this easy online form.  All you need to do is write a few sentences about the person you're nominating, the charity with which she's involved,  what inspires her and how she's inspiring others.  It's a wonderful opportunity for us to honor those women who give tirelessly to others, making a positive impact on the lives of the people in their communities.

After the nomination deadline, Harlequin will select five finalists and, in November, the public will vote for the three winners for 2014.  Those three women will each receive a $15,000 donation from Harlequin to the charity of their choice.  They will also each be paired with a bestselling Harlequin author who will use their story as inspiration for a novella that will be released to the public as a free e-book.  

Check out these free e-books that were inspired by the dedicated women who won the awards in 2012:

- Good Neighbors by Sheila Roberts (inspired by Sally Spencer, who manages a mentoring program that rescues at-risk children)

(Download here)

- Just Joe by Carla Cassidy (inspired by Helen McGovern, who oversees Emergency Food Network, a food bank that serves all county residents, including those with health restrictions)

(Download here)

- Light This Candle by Cindy Dees (inspired by Mindy Atwood, who runs Patches of Light, a nonprofit organization where anonymous angels pay the rent for parents of desperately ill children)

(Download here)

You can download these (and other free) More Than Words novellas, as well as purchase the More Than Words collections, at

Tell us about the women you know who are making a difference in their communities.  Or, tell us how you make a difference; how you give back to others.  One person, randomly chosen, will receive a copy of the More Than Words Collection (choose among volumes 4-7) of their choice.



  1. Vounteering does as much for the volunteer as to those they are helping. I started early and was a Candystriper and helped in various ways at my high school. Then moved on to Girl Scouts and a women's club that helped the comuunity. And did the same when my children were in school. At the moment I volunteer at our American Legion. I've met many wonderful women that do the same. It takes a village :)

  2. I've read a number of the More Than Words novellas and found them moving and inspiring. My most recent MTW read was the Sheila Roberts story, which I loved. I've seen how effective teen mentoring programs can be, and seeing the hero as the one dedicated to a charity was a nice change.

    A good friend, a widow who has had enormous medical expenses, still tears up when she talks about going to the grocery store to buy her Christmas groceries last December and discovering when she went to pay for them that an anonymous benefactor had paid for hers and eleven others. The gift allowed her to buy medicine she thought she would have to skip that month. With news media focused on all the horrors in our world, we sometimes forget how many people are doing all they can through individual acts and through organized charities to make the world a better place.

  3. My Mother has been a member of the RED CROSS for a very long time now. They do a phenomenal job, especially in times of crisis. My hat is off to them. I have been along to a few of the meetings & help where I can.

  4. I was raised to appreciate and be thankful for what I had and share with others. When I heard about the Peace Corps being formed, I decided it was for me. 5 years later when I graduated from college I joined. They were a wonderful 3 years and as much as I tried to give, I still feel I got so much more out of it. I am lucky to be married to a man who feels community involvement is important. Over the years, we have worked with 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, a variety of church programs, and military and community programs while he was on active duty. Now retired, at least from the military, we are Red Cross disaster, blood donors, and SAF(service to armed forces) volunteers, Habitat for Humanity volunteers, work with several organizations at church, on the Catholic Charities board for our region, state emergency medical corps volunteers, Honor Flight volunteers (taking WWII veterans to Washington, DC), library volunteers, and help at the county animal shelter as we can. Our three children grew up helping out and we are glad to see they are continuing to do so as adults.
    Everyone has time to help out in some way. It is just a matter of finding the right fit for what you enjoy and where you can be most effective. Just make sure you don't over-extend yourself. It can be a problem. There are so many worthy causes out there. We vary our participation throughout the year depending on which projects are most needing help at the time.

    Thanks for highlighting community involvement and the importance of it.