Hurricanes Harvey and Irma destroyed libraries, schools, and homes in the southern United States, leaving thousands of children without access to books. Now, the Hot Dudes Reading is sending books to kids for hurricane relief, but they need your help to make their mission a success.
Hot Dudes Reading made a splash when the Instagram account appeared in early 2015 to document the literary tastes of "hot dudes" found on New York City public transportation. A book, also called Hot Dudes Reading, appeared on store shelves in April 2016. Today, @HotDudesReading has 950,000 followers on Instagram, and the 12 writers behind the phenomenon have teamed up with First Book to create the @HotDudesReading 4 Hurricane Relief GoFundMe campaign, which aims to bring reading materials to children whose lives have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
According to the Hot Dudes Reading GoFundMe campaign, First Book has already donated 10,000 books for children in Texas and Florida, through partnerships with Chronicle Books, Simon & Schuster, and other children's book publishers. The campaign's modest goal of $5,500 will cover the costs of shipping those books to children in need. For every $10 donated, First Book will be able to get 18 books to the children who need them most.
The @HotDudesReading 4 Hurricane Relief campaign isn't the only iron that First Book has in the fire right now. The result of First Book's collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, the Essentials for Kids Fund "will support educators with targeted efforts to deliver brand-new books and basic needs items, in coordination with first-responders, educators, and volunteers, to areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey," according to the website. Hurricane Irma relief has been folded into this project, providing coverage to Florida as well as Texas. At the time of this writing, the Essentials for Kids Fund has raised nearly $218,000 of its $300,000 goal.
Elsewhere on the Internet, young adult authors have rallied their Twitter followings in support of hurricane relief. Linking to Global Giving's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, a number of YA writers — including Marie Lu (Legend), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes), and Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows) — offered to match thousands of dollars in donations. The fund has raised more than $3.2 million of its $5 million goal at the time of this writing.
How are you supporting hurricane victims? Tell me about your favorite hurricane-relief charities and fundraisers on Twitter!