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As you have probably noticed, there is a lot of CRAP going on in the world. Serious CRAP. The earthquake in New Zealand just over a day ago is an example of aforementioned CRAP. This CRAP leaves a lot of people without shelter or water or protection from the elements.

I woke up thinking about this. I’m lucky to live in a nice, warm apartment, with disco balls hanging from every ceiling and several celebrities trapped in special compartments under my floorboards. I thought about Shelterbox, which is a charity my friend @Gooddirt works for. You should click on that link, but here’s what Shelterbox does, in sum . . .

When there’s a disaster, Shelterbox deploys trained volunteers (hardcore people who’ve done survival training) with their special shelters in a box. The kits vary, but all contain the basic life-sustaining materials people need to survive after a disaster. Tents that fit families of ten. Blankets. A stove. Tools. You can get a good look at the kits here. Use your mouse to examine the various contents.

Each box costs £590 (about $950) and literally puts a roof over someone’s head.

I had exactly one copy of the ARC of The Last Little Blue Envelope left, and I had a little idea. I went on to Twitter and started a series of tweets, which I am now compiling and smoothing out in this post. By the end of today, there will be at least one more Shelterbox out there in the world–and YOU could win that ARC. Here’s the deal:

1. Make a donation to Shelterbox here (in the US) and here (in the UK). Whatever you can afford. The amount won’t increase your chances–it’s whatever you can give. In the blank where it asks you if you are donating in the name of a group or organization, the first donors this morning put my name, so we’ll stick with that.

2. Tweet that you have done so, with the amount, with the hashtag #lastlittleshelterbox. If you don’t have Twitter, you should get Twitter. It takes, like, two seconds and then you and I can TALK ALL DAY LONG. If you REALLY don’t want to Tweet it, email it to me. Don’t do both, though. We need to keep track, so if you send your info twice, we’ll count it twice and GET IT WRONG.

3. Some excellent volunteers are totaling this up as it goes. I’m going to contribute the difference we’re missing to complete a shelter. So, if we make enough for one and a half, I’ll put in whatever we’re short to make it two, etc. Right now (1:15 EST) we’re at around $600.

4. At 8PM (EST) today, I will choose ONE DONOR at RANDOM. That person wins the signed ARC–my last. This is literally my copy.


Thanks to my agent @DaphneUn, we can keep this going for TWO days. Today, I will give away my last ARC and make up the difference on the total to make the shelters. Tomorrow, she will give away one ARC from her supply, and make up the difference on ANOTHER shelter!


We’ve raised enough for FOUR shelters ($3800) and we are still going STRONG. Plus, I have ARCs of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (who, with Barry Goldblatt, donated an ENTIRE SHELTER) and Red Glove by Holly Black!

That’s it. Let’s DO this!

UPDATED 9:05 pm

DAY ONE ENDS IN TRIUMPH, with $6000 (£3,713) raised. That’s SIX shelters.

I had no idea this was going to happen when I woke up this morning. Nor did I know this was going to be a two-day event! And I have SO MANY PRIZES for tomorrow! I have:

One more ARC of The Last Little Blue Envelope (from @DaphneUn)
An ARC of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
An ARC of Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
A signed copy of Across the Universe by Beth Revis
A signed copy (and poster) of Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margi Stohl
An ARC of
Pink Boots and a Machete by Mireya Mayor

UNTIL TOMORROW! *falls over*



A signed ARC of Huntress by Malinda Lo
A signed copy of Tiger Eyes by JUDY BLUME.

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Posted: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 @ 1:22 pm
Categories: things that are awesome, to the max, twitter, unpredictable behavior.
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  1. Margaret Says:

    This is a perfect example of why you’re the best, Maureen Johnson. Even before you announced you were giving away your last ARC of Last Little Blue Envelope, I was already making my way over to the side this morning to donate in your name. It’s a great cause, and THANK YOU for having an enormous heart. <3

  2. Pam Says:

    Going to donate now but please don’t enter me in the giveaway! Thanks for the heads up Maureen.

  3. Tweets that mention Maureen Johnson Books » Blog Archive » THE LAST LITTLE SHELTERBOX -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by maureenjohnson, maureenjohnson, Pam van Hylckama , Katie Welsh, Hope Gaston and others. Hope Gaston said: RT @maureenjohnson: Blog Post: THE LAST LITTLE SHELTERBOX http://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/2011/02/23/the-last-little-shelterbox/ [...]

  4. Hilde Says:

    You are amazing, and Daphne is too. This cause is great, and I just think it shows so much the power of social media and Twitter and YOU and all the Jars. I’m glad I could donate, even if it was just a little. :)

    Thank you so much. <3

  5. Holly Says:

    I’m a New Zealander and I just want to say thank you so much, Maureen. It’s the most horrible disaster to ever happen to our country and the almost hourly aftershocks are keeping the South Island in constant fear. You and the jar creatures have me in tears with your generosity.

  6. yi shun Says:

    MAUREEN, Jars, and MJ’s readers…
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting ShelterBox. We are indeed hard at work already in NZ, and busy in Brazil, too. Every donation helps–and you’ll get a tracking number once your donation clears. When your box gets deployed, we’ll let you know. Thanks again, guys!

  7. Louise Says:

    maureen johnson I just donated $10 to Shelterbox. #lastlittleshelterbox

    If I win I would love Carrie Ryan’s new book The Dark and Hollow Places!! She inspired me to donate today!!

  8. Nushi-ke Says:

    I wish I could donate but alas I am broke so I want to thank everyone who donated money or prizes or helped out an sprinkle them with love dust.

    And you get and extra special helping Maureen, a whole jarful.

  9. Carina Says:

    This is so great for you to start. So glad for bookworms looking to help out as well :)

  10. alice priday Says:

    hey maureen
    i live in new zealand and i just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for what you are doing for the people of christchurch. it is just utter devestation here and i want to express my sincere condolences for everyone who is suffering and lost loved ones. and its people like you that really lift my heart and spirit up so thank you

  11. Houndrat.com » Blog Archive » (sort-of) Weekly ARC Giveaway: Where She Went by Gayle Forman Says:

    [...] [...]

  12. Tweets that mention Maureen Johnson Books » Blog Archive » THE LAST LITTLE SHELTERBOX -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Malinda Lo and Never Gonna Grow Up , ShelterBox USA. ShelterBox USA said: win an ARC of @libbabray's latest in @maureenjohnson's contest by donating. more here: http://ow.ly/42Iw1 6boxes so far! [...]

  13. Michelle Says:

    This is so great. I am donating and tweeting about it now. I wish I could do a little more, but things are tight right now.

  14. Shann Palmer Says:

    I don’t need anything for donating- it’s enough to help in some way- thanks for getting this going!

  15. Donate to The Last Little Shelterbox for Entry Into Giveaway « Writer Girl In NYC Says:

    [...] it for you? Well, other than a good deed completed, you have the potential of winning a number of gifts – an Advance Reader Copies of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, The [...]

  16. Tweets that mention Maureen Johnson Books » Blog Archive » THE LAST LITTLE SHELTERBOX -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Emm Are Emm, Mark Schneyer. Mark Schneyer said: Our family just donated $25 to #lastlittleshelterbox. Thanks to @maureenjohnson and @ScottWesterfeld for inspiring. http://bit.ly/g102uj [...]

  17. Rachel Says:

    I have another charity for you Maureen, Invisible Children. You don’t have to donate or anything I’d just like you to look at it. This is the homepage for the entire organization http://www.invisiblechildren.com (you’ll have to copy and paste, sorry). This is for anyone who cares about children and the war that’s been going on for 25 years in Uganda. I have decied to stay silent on April 25 and raise 25 dollars for these child soldiers and to help stop the violence. To see the 25 challenge go here: http://www.invisiblechildren.com/25. If you want to donate go to my page: http://25.invisiblechildren.com/member/ic-fundraising?fcid=7306
    Even if you don’t have money I would greatly appreciate anyone who just finds out about this great program

  18. Shanella Says:

    THis is really great Maureen. I hope you get more shelters up. I’ll look into this charity for future events.


  19. ShelterBox USA Says:

    Thank you to everyone who has helped ShelterBox send aid to families displaced by disaster around the world. Here’s our version of the last little blue envelope. ;) http://on.fb.me/gQGWwV

  20. lindsay cummings Says:

    donated just now! thanks for getting so many people excited about sharing the love!!!

  21. Jesse Says:

    It’s so incredible to see what just one person with a social network can accomplish! :D This really is inspiring. :) I’m glad to be a part of it even if I could only contribute a very small part. :)

  22. like, totally « my mumblings Says:

    [...] for the most uplifting thing, read HERE and behold the power of maureen johnson, twitter, and the publishing community. so amazing! [...]

  23. Rebecca D. Says:

    Hi Maureen,

    I actually review books for a local indie bookstore, and have an extra copy of The Last Little Blue Envelope. I am more than willing to donate it, if it’ll help raise more shelters. Let me know.



  24. Book News, Feb. 26th — The Librarian Next Door Says:

    [...] adult authors are all kinds of fantastic and this week provided great proof: in response to the earthquake in New Zealand, author Maureen Johnson rallied her Twitter followers and started a campaign to raise money for [...]

  25. Blair Says:

    This looks like a great charity! I’ll donate either way but is the giveaway for Goliath still going on? I got here from Scott’s blog.

  26. Bridie Says:

    Thank you so much.

    I’m in Christchurch as we speak. You have no idea how much it means to all of us to see how much people around the world care.

    Thank you Maureen, and to all the other authors and people who donated.

  27. Maureen Johnson Books » Blog Archive » SHELTERBOX IN JAPAN Says:

    [...] know we just did this, but given the scale of the events in Japan (and wherever else the tsunami affects), it seemed [...]

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