Saturday, June 10, 2006

Our Words, Our Strength

We all know that words can make a difference. They can move a nation, change a law, affect the entire world. Deep in our hearts, many of us hope that some day we will write the words that will make a lasting difference.

I am making no claim that I have done this, but I do want to make you aware of a publishing imprint trying to make a difference. In the interest of full disclosure, I work for the publishing company whose imprint it is. That's not meant as an apology; I say it with pride.

Village Earth Press is an imprint of Harding House Publishing Service. The goal of the press is to produce good products that will do good. In that vein, I would like to announce the publication of the first book under the Village Earth Press imprint--The Gift of Hope in the Wake of the 2004 Tsunami and 2005 Hurricanes.

Many of us sat in front of televisions or computer screens watching with disbelief the destruction caused by the tsunami. The terror on the faces of those running from the wall of water is not easy to forget.

Then, a few months later, the sense of disbelief hit us again when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast. Pictures of flood-ravaged communities and people stranded on the roofs of their homes dominated news coverage. In their aftermath, the hurricanes left entire communities almost destroyed.

In 2005, Village Earth Press publisher and director of photography traveled to Thailand to document recovery efforts there. Instead of finding people wringing their hands, they found people full of hope for the future, working to rebuild their communities and their lives.

Later that year, they traveled to the Gulf Coast. Although the destruction was more recent, they found people there already working to rebuild their communities and lives. Although separated by thousands of miles, these communities and their residents had much in common.

The result of those visits is The Gift of Hope in the Wake of the 2004 Tsunami and 2005 Hurricanes. With eloquent prose and evocative photographs, the book shows communities on their way to recovery, but with a new definition of normalcy.

The book will be available in July 2006, but it can be preordered now on the Village Earth Press web site: One-third of the purchase price will go to Habitat for Humanity and Give2Asia, two agencies working to help in the immense recovery efforts.

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