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World Humanitarian Day is marked on August 19 annually dedicated to recognizing humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. Every year, the United National General Assembly marks the event with a new theme. This year, the theme is “#TheHumanRace”, the global challenge for climate action in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable population.
Many authors around the world dedicated their efforts to humanitarian work and helped bring change to their communities. Here are 7 famous authors:
Japanese-American romance author Sylvia Day has received the distinction of being the number one bestseller in over 20 countries worldwide. Day has published dozens of romance novels in dozens of languages around the globe, but perhaps her biggest accomplishment is her charity work.
Day’s charitable works have a wide scope, ranging from engaging with other romance writers in her Daylight Scholarship and Romance Writers of America programs, to orphans in Ohio and overseas troops in her One Way Farm and Troops Ongoing Project charities respectively.
One of Day’s more interesting approaches to charity has her readers and fans sending her short essays describing which charities are important to them or why it is important for others to help out said charity. Day’s program, aptly named Day it Forward, has reached an eclectic group of charities including the Red Panda Network — a non-profit dedicated to eco-conservation, sustainable livelihoods, and alleviating poverty in Nepal. Day it Forward has also contributed to United for Puerto Rico, Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, and many more since its inception in 2015.
John Green, author of the heart-wrenching tale ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ asks his fans to tell him and his board which charities mean the most to them and allows his foundation to have some say in which charities receive donations.
The money raised for Green’s foundation goes to The Foundation to Decrease World Suck, and acts as an aggregate nonprofit, donating its proceeds to other nonprofits and charities.
Before they became Hollywood blockbusters, the Twilight franchise was a series of books, written by author Stephenie Meyer. Amazingly, Meyer had never published any fiction prior to writing these books. According to her, she got the idea from a dream. The movies went on to gross billions at the global box office, which in turn fuelled the sales of her books even more. Meyer has used the popularity of her books to assist charities, most notably the American Red Cross. She even released a new novella set in the same universe as the other Twilight books and donated $1 from the sale of each copy to the Red Cross.
Suzanne Collins books are immensely popular, with The Hunger Games spending more than 60 weeks in a row on the New York Times bestseller list. Collins also went on to become one of the bestselling authors of all time on Kindle. She has since used her wealth and influence to assist many charities. Collins, along with other celebrities, took part in the “One Million Bookprints For One Million Books.” This campaign helped children from low-income communities who are in hospitals, clinics, and health centres to receive books. Her movies have also helped to raise awareness of world hunger via partnerships between Feeding America, WFP, and Lionsgate.
JK Rowling has donated £15.3 million to a medical research facility, which she helped to set up. The facility is named after the Harry Potter author’s mother, who died at the age of 45 from complications related to a condition called multiple sclerosis (MS). JK Rowling wants the money to support more research into conditions such as MS, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s, and dementia. It isn’t her first charitable contribution though. She also founded a charity called Lumos after making it her mission to take children out of poorly-run orphanages by 2050. Harry Potter fans will notice that the charity is named after the spell used by witches and wizards to bring light to dark places.
Isabel Allende, the prolific Chilean writer, recipient of Chile’s National Literature Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama founded the Isabel Allende Foundation to pay respects to her late daughter Paula Frias.
Frias spent most of her short life volunteering in poor communities in Venezuela and Spain before her untimely death due to a rare blood disorder that Allende says “nowadays should not be fatal,” but she received negligent treatment in the hospital. After an epiphany Allende had while on a trip to India grieving for her lost daughter, she decided to create a charity devoted to helping empower women, girls, and immigrants.
American author James Pattern has written dozens of crime, mystery, and young adult novels, whose publication dates have spanned many years. When he’s not writing, Patterson uses his earnings wisely to support organisations like Feed the Children.Patterson has donated more than $1.75 million to literacy programs nationwide, in partnership with the Scholastic Reading Club.