I think by now most of you have probably heard that tragedy has touched one of our own. While away at the American Library Association Mid-Winter Meeting, Yara of Once Upon a Twilight lost her home in a fire.
The blaze began in the afternoon hours of Friday, January 20 and reignited in the wee morning hours Saturday. (You can read a full report in the Montgomery County Police Reporter and view more images here.) Sadly, it gutted the Santos family's house and only the shell of it remains. This is what Yara returned to.
Thank goodness no one was injured, including the pets. That is the bright spot in all of this. As devastating and horrible as the events of the past weekend were, every member of the Santos family is physically okay. Things can be replaced and houses rebuilt, but all of that is secondary to the safety of the people. After all, possessions don't make a home. People do. (Read Yara's cousin Jenny's post.)
To no one's surprise, the book blogging community is rushing to the aid of Yara's family. Twilight Moms is holding a donation drive to raise money and help the family in the interim and eventually get them back on their feet. Authors are pitching in to raise funds for the family. Lani Woodland and several other authors are hosting a contest for those who donate to the cause in an an effort to boost donations.
The three of us here had the same thought, knowing that while memories and so many of Yara and her family's things cannot be replaced there are things that can be. Namely books. We've spent hours sifting through her blog, her Goodreads and her wishlists to compile a massive list of books she enjoyed or hoped to read. We've also posted one for her children in an effort not only to restock Yara's bookshelves, but those of her kids.
Please take a look at the Yara's Booklist and the Children's List. We're trying hard to avoid duplicates, and will be updating the list daily to cross out items that have already been donated.
Visit the Donation Page to donate a book for either Yara or her boys. New books and gently used copies are greatly appreciated. And if you don't want to donate a book but want to contribute you can always donate a gift card.
Thanks in advance to everyone! We'll keep you posted as all our efforts progress and update you on Yara's situation whenever we can. Please keep the Santos family in your thoughts and prayers.