Helping Jarryd

21 February 2009
How often do we get the chance to help someone whose life has been completely turned upside down? Not often. We do favours for people, we give to charities, but when is an act of kindness given to someone who loses everything in the space of one single day?

Jarryd needs your help.

I just received this comment from Frogdancer and I am happy to help her. This is what she wrote:

I was wondering if you'd like to let your readers know about a book drive I'm organising for my friend's son. They were totally burnt out in the bushfires near Traralgon (literally drove away with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their cat and dog).

He's 17, a real literature nut, and we're sending him books to help replace all of the ones that he lost. Plus a few more to broaden his horizons. If any of your readers are book lovers then they'd know how lost he is without his library.

The list of novels we're working from as a base is on my blog, along with how I'm organising it. (I'm crossing them off as people comment.)

My aim is to make his postman curse the day that blogging was ever invented!!

If you can help, please do. A random act of kindness will lift your spirits and make your heart feel good, but more than that it will help a young man regain his faith in the goodness of people and give him books to fill his brain and form his future. I am so pleased to see James Joyce and Thomas Pynchon on the list!

Read frogdancer's post and book list here. Apparently her email is down so leave a comment at her blog, or here and I'll pass it on to her. If you were wondering if you could help after the fires, this is a quick and simple way to make a real contribution - grab a suitable book, slip it in an envelope, write a note telling Jarryd that you're thinking of him, and pop it in the post. How easy is that!

Thank you for doing this.


  1. Wild Sargasso Sea/Jean Rhys
    A Kindness Cup/Thea Astley

    I will root out some others in a few days

  2. Thanks Maree, I appreciate your kindness.

  3. It's wonderful to see how many people have volunteered to send books to this boy.

    But it has got me thinking - at least one school was destroyed in the fires, and I presume all of the books in the school library. If anyone reading this hears about anything similar for donating books to a school library, I would love to hear about it.

  4. Hi, just discovered your blog over at DocWitches place. What a wonderful blog and just what I need as a complete novice in the gardening department. I'll be asking LOTS of questions, so be warned. I'm already sending Jarryd some books - what wonderful people Frogdancer and you are to be so kind to others.

  5. On the subject of books and libraries, I believe Borders bookshops are accepting donations of secondhand books which they will a) distribute to libraries which were destroyed, and b) match the retail value of to make a financial contribution (up to $200,000). Details here:

  6. I linked to you and the other blog on my blog . I find this very important. I will be going through my shelves over the weekend. I am sure I can send something from New Mexico.

  7. What a great idea but what I was wondering is: are their libraries we could donate to as well? Towns that lost all their books?


  8. Thanks Rhonda - have been in touch with Lisa`and found 13 books so far. 3 already packaged up to post on Monday

    - will use the new spare space in the wardrobe for storing my currently homeless stock pile items!

  9. Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity Rhonda. I found four on my shelves in no time. Have a great weekend.

  10. I'm on my way over to check out the list of books now ...

    PS ... I was so inspired by one of your recent posts that I did a little blog about it ... thought I'd let you know in case you'd like to have a look. You can find the post HERE

  11. Already done this and posted off yesterday...and have to say it feels lik eone of the best things I've done in ages. Simple, practical and heart warming.

  12. Have scanned the list and see a couple I may have in a pile somewhere . . . off to check now, and thanks for posting this.

  13. Im just watching Channel 7 and they are talking about Borders having a book drive also

    Borders wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to those affected by the dreadful bushfires in the state of Victoria and elsewhere in Australia. As part of REDgroup retail we will be co-ordinating our efforts to assist through the Australian Red Cross.

    Help Borders raise $200,000 for the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Bring in your second hand good quality books or purchase a new book to donate.

    Borders will match the retail price of all donated books up to $200,000, which will go directly to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

    Borders will donate all books to schools and libraries in fire affected communities.

    A dedicated area for book donations will be provided in store from Monday 23rd February 2009.

    Additionally, you can make a cash donation at the Australian Red Cross web site.

  14. I still have a credit to use on; I'll see if they have any books on the wish list. If you've never heard of it's worth checking into; I have loved it.


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