Toss the Bouquet Charity Event and Giveaway

Happy June, my friends!

June is the most popular month for weddings, and a celebrated wedding tradition is the tossing of the bouquet. The bride, overflowing with love and happiness, tosses her bouquet in a symbolic gesture of sharing her good fortune with others.

How blessed are we with our good fortune? Warm Bed. Hot meals. A safe home. Those who love us. … Freedom.

We are all the bride. (Men, if you can be the groom…if you insist.) ūüėČ This amazing life we live with loved ones and choices is our wedding celebration. {whispers} Yes I know, Uncle Ned is making a spectacle of himself on the dance floor, but oh…what great stories we’ll have to tell later. {nods} The budget nearly popped a seam, but¬†we’ve been showered with gifts and we’re about to pay it forward…

Let’s all Toss the Bouquet this June. Join me in making a beautiful bouquet of the abundant blessings we have and toss it out to the world.

Our flowers will¬†burst into millions of petals, raining love onto those who need it the most. Thoughts, prayers, dreams, and donations all transform into something wonderful for another…all because we¬†tossed a bouquet filled with love.

Bouquet Toss

Toss the Bouquet Charity Event

The Toss the Bouquet Charity Event is to raise awareness¬†and help support charities who fight against human trafficking, a pervasive worldwide tragedy that must be stopped. The problem is enormous. And it’s not “over there” … It’s everywhere.

How can you participate in Toss the Bouquet?

Donate any amount to any of the charities listed on the Charity Support and Awareness page from May 31st through June 15th, 2013. Some of the charities, like Not For Sale and International Princess Project, have stores where you can purchase products to support them. You can do that too!

During the event, I’ve also reduced the price of Kindle and paperback versions¬†Utterly Loved. The romantic book of poetry is shared with the world for charity,¬†its proceeds¬†supporting Covenant House and World Vision.¬†Sylvain¬†Reynard, a humanitarian who inspired me to use my author platform in conjunction with charitable causes, wrote the brilliant and inspiring foreword to Utterly Loved. Be sure to pick up a copy…and perhaps a few to share with others.

Toss the Bouquet Giveaway

The Toss the Bouquet Charity Event is all about helping the charities to help those in need. Mr. Bastion and I also wanted to give everyone participating in the Toss the Bouquet Charity Event a chance to win something special.

We are giving away three items to three lucky winners. One e-book copy of Utterly Loved, one signed¬†paperback copy of Utterly Loved…

Utterly Loved Book Cover

And…one special gift of jewelry from Pandora as a keepsake from the Toss the Bouquet¬†event: Pandora’s sterling silver with 14k gold Love Bouquet charm on Pandora’s sterling silver bracelet.

Pandora Bouquet Charm

To enter the giveaway, email me at giveaways@katbastion.com with your donation receipt of any amount (or a purchase receipt from one of their stores) for any of the charities listed on the Charity Support and Awareness page by midnight June 15th, 2013 and click on the below link to enter the below Rafflecopter giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Authors Supporting The Charities

I would like to mention two authors I met through Twitter who also support charities fighting against human trafficking:

  • Heather Huffman weaves the issue of human trafficking into her stories, is an activist in the cause, and a portion of book proceeds goes toward charities fighting against human trafficking. Read more about her¬†books and¬†human trafficking on Heather’s website.
  • Sylvain Reynard utilizes his author platform to bring awareness and support to many amazing¬†charities, including those fighting against human trafficking. SR wrote a wonderful post a few days ago on his website… “Why Charity?”

Your purchase of their incredible books supports the authors, who in turn support the charities.

Please share this blog post and/or news of the Toss the Bouquet Charity Event and Giveaway with your social media. Encourage your friends and followers to join us in¬†supporting those charities that fight against human trafficking. Let’s set every one of those lost souls¬†free and show them they are utterly loved.

Thank you for your generous hearts, my friends.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

The Unspeakable Tragedy of Human Trafficking

Ready to get real on today’s blog?

Human Trafficking

A horrific topic that no amount of sugar coating ever makes easier to digest.

Last night, Mr. Bastion highlighted an hour-long show that was painful and heart-wrenching to watch.¬† I can’t imagine an hour better spent of my time.

In my opinion, everyone needs to see the 3AM Girls on Our America by Lisa Ling.

To see those who advocates¬†are¬†trying to help by rescuing children who’ve been victimized with no foreseeable escape is beyond moving.¬† You will learn who is taken, how they are taken, and why they can’t leave without significant help.¬† Then you will learn where it is happening.

Is it happening worldwide?  Yes.  Is it happening in your city?  Absolutely.

Did you see the article in the Huffington Post naming the single largest human trafficking event in the US?  The Super Bowl. 

I didn’t.¬†

Now whenever I see a major event, I will always remember those who are there against their will…wishing they were somewhere else.

Because of the harsh world we live in, we escape into movies.  We get lost in romance novels.  Writing and reading of heroes and heroines with happily ever afters helps bring happiness to our otherwise dreary lives.

Many of us have a lot to learn about the definition of despair.
{raises my hand}

What struck me most, of the many shocking things I learned last night in the program, was the¬†level¬†emotional abuse these children suffer under once they’ve fallen victim to human trafficking.¬† Oftentimes, they suffered emotional abuse from their homes long before they became lost on the streets.

The reason the emotional abuse impacted me so greatly? I’m a survivor of emotional abuse.¬† Not many people know that fact about me.¬† I suffered all my life at the hands of the ones children trust most in this world.¬† I’ve also suffered from the emotional cruelty of bullies.¬† I know how difficult it is to break free of the fear.¬† I understand how it seems like there may never be a sun to rise on the horizon of a new day.

I feel I was one of the lucky ones.¬† I didn’t run away from home.¬† No matter how bad it got for me, I endured my homelife with a silent vow to myself on a particularly bad night¬†that I would get out the moment I could afford to support myself.¬† Through the emotional abuse, I somehow repaired all the chipping away of my self-esteem with something stronger.¬† Mr. Bastion met me at the critical moment in my life right as I took the leap away from my abuser and¬†went out into the world.¬† His love and support was instrumental to my survival on my own.¬† He is forever my amazing foundation, as he can attest to the scar tissue and trust issues that I still deal with and recover from.¬† Our talks are great therapy for me and strengthen my resolve to help those who need that same foundation.

Those in human trafficking are kept there by similar emotional abuse, only they have fallen into the darkest, most dangerous realm of our world.  The odds are against them for getting out alone.  Fear, guilt, and manipulation make those children feel they owe it to their captors to remain.  They feel they have no other choice. 

No human on this planet should be trapped in a situation where freedom is not an option.  These children need an enormous amount of love and support to escape their circumstances into a better life.

I’m very new to the charity awareness scene.¬† While I’ve been raising awareness for charities that support helping human trafficking victims, including World Vision and Covenant House through the promotion of Utterly Loved, I’m learning how great the need is and how much help is required.¬† Click on both of these World Vision and Covenant House links to see the difference donations made in 2012 to help victims of human trafficking and how vast the problem is worldwide and in the United¬†States.

A wonderful humanitarian, Sylvain Reynard, opened my eyes to the importance of raising awareness to help those in need through an author platform.  He is a huge supporter of both World Vision and Covenant House. 

Another author who’s just recently come to my attention through Sylvain Reynard is Heather Huffman.¬† She not only¬†donates a portion of the proceeds of her books to help fight human trafficking, she also weaves the important¬†issues into her stories.¬† Check out Heather Huffman’s website here and her What is Trafficking page, which has links to several groups that are involved in helping to save those lost children.

Utterly Loved, a book of romantic poetry with inspiring foreword by Sylvain Reynard that highlights the need for ongoing support for these charities, exists because of those lost children.  Every purchase of Utterly Loved not only raises awareness of those charities, but all the proceeds every sale (less costs and taxes) supports them.  Find Utterly Loved on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble and on Smashwords.

Our generosity will help save those young victims.¬† Spreading awareness of the issue is only the first step.¬† Getting involved is critical to making real change and saving lives.¬† Everyone deserves a safe home, a¬†warm bed, a hot meal, and loving hugs.¬† Let’s make it happen for every one of them we can.

Why am I an eternal optimist?  Why do most of the posts you see on Twitter or on Facebook and in Utterly Loved reflect the love in this world?

Because I know that optimism is the only thing that saved me.¬† Believing there is a brighter tomorrow got me through every dark day.¬† Join me in the fight for¬†brighter tomorrows for every lost child out there.¬† Let’s give those children the happily ever after they deserve.

Thank you for your enormous hearts and endless support.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion