The website Writers for Families Belong Together is the home base for a new fundraising project that benefits the ongoing Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages campaign, which was launched last month to aid families separated on the U.S. southern border in the wake of stringent enforcement of immigration policies. The new website features a number of book, author, and publishing industry-related prizes that people can bid on through a series of raffles and auctions.

Writers for Families Belong Together was designed by authors Maria Andreu (The Secret Side of Empty, 2014) and Kelly Loy Gilbert (Picture Us in the Light, 2018). “So many people were horrified when the news of children separated from their parents at the border started to filter in,” Andreu said. “For me, having crossed that same border with my mom when I was eight, the desperation was visceral. I wanted to do something.” She wrote about her own crossing from Mexico to California in a recent op-ed piece for Teen Vogue, and her novel focuses on a high school senior who is undocumented.

Moved to focus her energies on helping a new generation of immigrants, Andreu noted, “I began to collect items for an auction to benefit the kids, and connected with Kelly, who had independently begun to do the same,” she explained. “We put together a quick site, and are up to hundreds of auction items being bid on and raffled off.”

Proof of a donation to Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages of at least $1 serves as a virtual “raffle ticket” enabling donors to enter a prize raffle, or also enabling them to begin bidding on an auction item (for which they will then make an additional donation if they post the winning bid). Raffle prizes include: a deleted scene from Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (available at the $1 donation level), signed books, author critiques and phone calls, and author Skype visits at varying higher donation levels.

The auctions are held in silent auction style: bids are entered and the highest dollar amount wins. Among the many prizes are: a page critique from Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, a signed first edition of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, a coffee and brainstorming session with author Kass Morgan, and a critique and phone call from Elise Howard, publisher/editor at Algonquin Young Readers. All auctions and raffles end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 15.

“People have been really generous with what they’ve donated,” Andreu said of the plethora of prizes. She’s hoping that these enticements will turn into generous donations to help immigrant families. To date, Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages, which has adopted the additional statement “We’re United Until Every Family Is Reunited,” has raised over $212,000 to be equally distributed among select organizations providing direct aid to children and families affected by the current crisis.

For additional coverage on the Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages effort, see Kid Lit Campaign Rallies Against Immigration Horrors and Updates on Kid Lit Community’s Reaction to U.S. Border Policy.

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