Welcome to Week 43 of The 52 Week Love Project – Acts of Kindness. The project designed to recognize 52 inspiring humans who are giving back to our community – whether in a small way or by creating a movement for change and inspiration.

Meet Kara:  Amongst other things, she is an ambassador for Trees for the Future, a non-profit that battles climate change and extreme poverty by giving impoverished farmers the tools and resources they need to build sustainable forest gardens, which allows them to profit while also healing the Earth. 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a blogger and ambassador for Trees for the Future, a non-profit that battles climate change and extreme poverty by giving impoverished farmers the tools and resources they need to build sustainable forest gardens, which allows them to profit while also healing the Earth. To date, they have sequestered over 190 thousand tons of carbon by planting over 150 million trees. Their forest garden program has changed over 26,000 lives and 86% of families are food secure one year after entering the program.

I also blog about romance novels. I write reviews, articles, and interview authors. I use affiliate links to Smashwords and Indiebound whenever I can to support indie authors and bookstores, and I donate 50% of my affiliate earnings to Trees for the Future.

I also do review requests, interviews, and other book and blog promotional content in exchange for small donations for Trees to the Future.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

There were a lot of things that inspired me. One of them was reading I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. It was really inspiring to see a girl my age being able to make such an impact and help change the world and it made me want to do the same. There also seemed to be a lot of regular people around me doing extraordinary things at the time.  One of my sister’s friends was selling homemade lip balm to raise money for another friend’s college tuition. I loved exploring tiny thrift stores that supported local food pantries, and I was fascinated by an eBay seller who sold used items to raise money for homeless veterans. My sister inspired me to start a blog because she had recently started a fashion blog.

HOW DO YOU GET PAST SELF DOUBT?

To be honest, I’m still working on this one. I want to do a lot more. Like, it would be awesome to go on a cross-country road trip and interview local bookstores and raise money for every mile I travel, or create a reading app with ads that generate money for Trees for the Future, but I don’t have the influence or resources for these projects.

But I remind myself that it’s a learning process and takes time and patience to grow a sustainable blog. Sometimes I look at my blog analytics to reassure myself that I’m getting more views every year, meaning every year I’m creating more exposure for local bookstores, authors, and Trees for the Future, which is progress, as slow as it is.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE/CHANGE IN THE WORLD?

The biggest advice is to just do it. Anyone can make a difference, no matter how much time or how many resources they have. Learn from others making a difference and accept that no matter how much research and planning you do, you’ll make mistakes and experience setbacks along the way (that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research and plan, though).

You won’t make a difference right away, and maybe not even in the first year or two. Remember to be patient and keep working at it, whatever your cause is or how you’re supporting your cause. Because as cliché as it is, every little bit helps, and even doing something in the hopes it will make a difference down the road is  exponentially more effective than doing nothing at all.

DO YOU HAVE A QUOTE OR EXPRESSION THAT YOU LIVE BY?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” is one that I try to live by. It’s credited to Mahatma Gandhi.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?

I’m a college student at Polk State College in Florida where I’m working on getting my degree in marketing. I also work part-time at a theme park in Orlando and I’m writing a young adult novel. I published my first novel, Swapping Secrets, last year. You can read it for free on Swoon Reads.

 I’ve interned at Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind and the Borgen Project to learn more about marketing and writing. I also do a little bit of slacktivism, which are minimal effort ways of contributing to charity. I have Tab for a Cause and Ecosia search engine installed as Google Chrome extensions so whenever I search something or open a new tab, I earn a little money through ad revenue for various charities. I also raise money for She’s the First through an app called Charity Miles, which donates some money for every mile you walk, bike, or run. So if anyone’s looking for the bare minimum effort needed to make an impact, albeit a tiny one, these three programs are it.

HOW CAN OTHERS HELP/GET INVOLVED?

The biggest way you can help is by purchasing a book through one of my affiliate links on https://loversquarrelreviews.com/ . Not only will you be supporting me and Trees for the Future, but you’ll also be supporting either an indie author or your local independently owned bookstore (or both).

 If you have a book, blog, or anything else you want promoted in exchange for a small donation to Trees for the Future, then you can learn more details here: https://loversquarrelreviews.com/2017/04/10/how-to-save-the-world-and-promote-your-book-or-blog-in-two-minutes/ . I’m willing to do reviews, spotlights, interviews and social media shout outs.

Or, if you want, you can just donate directly to Trees for the Future. Even a small donation can make a huge difference. One tree only costs ten cents to plant. And 50 dollars is all that’s needed to provide one family with all the seeds, tools, and materials they need for one year. You can donate and learn more about Trees for the Future here: https://trees.org/

Another way to help would be to follow and engage with me on Lover’s Quarrel and social media with comments, shares, likes, etc.. 

Lover’s Quarrel: https://loversquarrelreviews.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QuarrelLover

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loversquarrelreviews/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHMVDkYzAlzd1I_xoCQUONw?

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