Holiday Gifts #1: 826 National

Shoppers, start your engines! It's the season for shopping for that special gift for the holidays.

Each year, I offer hand-picked gift suggestions for the perfect gift for readers and writers. Today's gift suggestions were inspired by an email from Claire and the 826 Crew.

I feature 826 National every Christmas season. I applaud this worthwhile organization that was co-founded by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari in 2002. 826 National is an organization of nine non-profit tutoring and writing centers that serves 30,000 students in eight cities across the country. Free one-on-one tutoring attention in our vibrant writing labs empowers students to be playful and imaginative, hone their writing and thinking skills, and flourish as published authors.

Donate And/Or Shop

For philanthropic creative types who want to support the development of young voices — and find some out-of-this-world gifts that give back this holiday season — check out the 826 online store! All proceeds help to fuel our endlessly fun and formative after-school tutoring programs, writing workshops, and field trips for under-resourced youth.

Claire said: "We sell a plethora of items that delight all writers young and old, students, teachers, and even coffee drinkers! Behind every Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the 21st century lies one of our Emergency Novel-Finishing Kits, or at very least our “Are You Absolutely, Positively, Wholeheartedly Ready to Publish Your Novel?” Poster.

"For amazing parents and teachers we’ve crafted the Don’t Forget to Write Collection, featuring over 100 creative writing lessons for elementary and secondary students. For kiddos we have the world famous 826 Pocket Activity Book and Cartoon Activity Book, as well as our declarative Future Author Tees. And we have so much more, including signed benefit books from famous authors, 826 student publications, t-shirts, coffee mugs, snuggies, and tote bags.

Here's a link to take you to the Donation Page. Help 826 and make a Gift Donation in your name or a friend's name.

My Favorite 826 Gift
I have one of these postcards taped above my computer monitor. I give them to writing friends as a little gift. Maybe it's corny, but sometimes I look at it and feel a little boost. I don't know of any writer who thinks what they write is perfect and wonderful in every way.

Just about every writer I know starts a project with great enthusiasm, but eventually we find ourselves slogging through day after day. We're grinding it out to use Tiger Woods's apt description of hanging in there, hole after hole in a golf tournament, enduring with the hope that eventually a point is reached where success is possible.

Takeaway Truth

Make a donation or buy a gift from the Online Gift Shop. You benefit a worthwhile organization, and the lucky gift recipient. You also get an endorphin release from giving to others. Hey, that's a triple win!

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