CONFESSION: My heart is breaking for orphans. It’s upsetting to me to realize that all over our world and even right down the street, there are kids who are in dire need – of food, of water, of safety, of organ transplants, of parents… or, well, in need of LOVE and PROTECTION. If there are children (orphans) who are in horrible circumstances (and there are), then we need to do something about it.
From now until May 9, I’m focusing my money and efforts on this problem and here’s why…
Let’s talk about sex for a second. And not the kind of sex that everybody wants to romanticize. I’m talking about forced sex on people – on children. It’s a real problem and if you think that sex slavery does not exist in our world and IN OUR COUNTRY, then you are choosing to turn a blind eye to the evil of human trafficking that has become one of the most lucrative businesses in our society. Here are a few disgusting FACTS…
1. 100,000 – 300,000 U.S. children are forced into sexual slavery each year for the pleasure and profit of their perpetrators.
2. The average age of these children are 12-13 years old (but there are younger and older victims).
3. They are beaten, gang raped, starved, branded, chained in dog cages, and forcibly ravaged night after night.
Just typing that made me sick. I don’t have children of my own, but I teach middle schoolers and work with teens on a daily basis. If I knew that one of my precious students had been taken and forced into that world, there is no distance I wouldn’t travel to rescue them, no amount of money I wouldn’t spare to get them to safety.
Now let’s talk about basic living needs. Food. Water. Shelter. Did you know that in Haiti, they are still trying to clear away rubble from the earthquake? A year later, hardly any improvement has been made! You cannot rebuild on rubble – and until that rubble is gone, there can be no rebuilding of life. Did you know that many people in Haiti have no sources for clean water? Water, yall. I drink tons of it everyday – for dietary needs and because I’m just THIRSTY. I go through water bottles like crazy. And yet people in the world don’t have access to that?! That’s awful.
The fact is that I value life. And chances are, most of you do, too. Maybe you weren’t aware of what is going on beyond your own comfort zone – I know I’ve been guilty of just not paying attention. And I have long come to terms with the fact that I cannot “save” the world. I cannot always be there to help every person who truly needs it. Because the fact is, everyone needs something or Someone. But if we pool resources together, we might could make a difference in these major issues. That’s why I’m getting involved – along with some of the most compassionate and world-changing teens in Burleson, Texas. We’re going to do some Heartwork, in the form of raising money to bring relief to the orphans locally and globally.
We have committed to earn, save, or raise money (in an amount or goal we set personally) toward four specifically chosen causes that are both local and global. All money raised will be split evenly between these four things:
1. Traffick 911 (local & global emphasis) – There are amazing and successful efforts going on in the world to free children and young people from sex slavery. But then once they’re free, they need a safe place to go – to rebuild their life. Their pimps will often hunt them down and threaten them or their family members if they don’t come back. Right now, Traffick 911 is working to build a safehouse in the DFW area. (Probably none of us will ever know its exact location due to the extreme nature of needing to protect these people.) Traffick911 is committed to social justice and human rights, fighting for the rights of oppressed American children.
2. Water For Haiti (global emphasis) – We will be sending teams to go out and build fresh water wells for people. We’re not just passing out water bottles that are here today and gone in five minutes. We’re trying to give them a source of water that will be permanent and help them survive on their own. (sponsored by Living Water International)
3. Organ Transplants for Kyle (local emphasis) – Kyle is a precious student in our Burleson community, an active member of a local youth group, and a kid who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. He is in desperate need of a double lung transplant and a liver transplant. He and his mom are back and forth from here to Houston for his treatment, and they need financial support. (sponsored by The Children’s Organ Transplant Association)
4. Compassion International (global emphasis) – Compassion is well-known for connecting people to orphans all over the world. For a small amount of money a month, people can work through Compassion to sponsor an orphan’s basic needs and release them from poverty.
We’re contributing to these causes financially through personal sacrifices – some of us are selling things that we just don’t NEED. Some are mowing lawns or doing other manual labor and donating the money to these causes. I know there are a LOT of people in need out there – these organizations just happen to be the ones we felt led to support and focus on for the next 30 days. And most of us Americans can afford to give up one or two McDonald’s drive-thrus to help out financially – especially if it means feeding a starving child, or rescuing one out of slavery.
Like I said, I can’t fix all the world’s problems. But I’ve got to start somewhere in helping… ONE of the ways I want to do this is through the resources I have with my Phantom Island books. Here’s how you can get involved with me…
As many of you know, my Phantom Island series is being re-released by Tate Publishing later this year. But I still have boxes of the original, self-published editions sitting in my house (as well as a lot of debt still left to pay on the self-publishing costs). Once this summer hits, I will no longer be able to sell those books in any stores or online venues. And after that, you will never see Phantom Island: WIND (the first book) in one bound hardcover edition – it will be split into two paperbacks.
I would LOVE to see those remaining WIND copies placed in the hands of readers and 25% of the money people pay for them sent to these four causes. We’ve also lowered the cost of the books (less than what we bought them for) to hopefully entice more people to want copies. We’re not making any profit – we’re losing money to do this. But when I think of what others have already lost – or never had – it seems like a very small sacrifice to help them out.
I know that not everyone feels as strongly about these issues as I do, but maybe you’d be willing to purchase a highly-praised, original edition of a book (set to release commercially later this year), knowing that you’re also helping these orphans. Surely you know a young person you could give an autographed book to, or maybe you yourself enjoy Young Adult fiction? (I have just as many adult-aged fans as I do teens at this point!) Maybe you don’t read, but you’d willingly buy a book just to support these causes and then put it on your shelf (like my school principal did. Ha). If you want to know more about the magical adventure that Phantom Island is, please visit www.krissidallas.com. It’s positive, it’s engaging, it’s romantic and mysterious… it’s just a lot of fun in one book! And it will soon be a dynamic series of books. Books (and t-shirts) can be ordered at http://whiteislandshoppe.wazala.com –> free tribal tattoos with every order. (Note: Books sold on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or any other places won’t be discounted and they won’t be included in the donations since I have no way of controlling that.)
I’m asking you to spread the word about this – not for my personal gain, but because I cannot think of anything more important right now than helping innocent people who cannot help themselves – orphans and oppressed children. And this is just one creative way I can think of…I don’t know what else I will feel led to do about this – maybe I’m supposed to go visit some of these countries and help build a well, or play with children in orphanages, or maybe even adopt a child from another country… sounds crazy, right? I’ve done mission work my whole life, so if something is needed of me beyond finances, I want to be willing to do it. My husband and I do not take lightly the charge God has given us to look out for the poor, the needy, the orphans, the widows, the lost, and the oppressed.
If you want to get on board with me, please consider buying a book or posting a blurb about this on your Facebook or blog or Twitter or email list. The way you guys have supported me the last few years has been a wonderful blessing – now, please help me share that blessing with others who need it way more than I do.
Select a t-shirt in your tribe’s style and colors!
Example of the back of tribal t-shirts!
Sam and I are trying to raise $1,000 by May 9 (through our personal giving and donation collecting). If you just want to make a tax-deductible donation (which will be split evenly among these four causes), you can write a check to “Reece Prairie Baptist Church” (and write “Heartwork” in the memo), and mail to: