Saturday, October 22, 2011

A way to do some good this holiday season

Imagine you're a mom of four, living with MS, still readjusting to life in the states after years spent abroad, and finally seeing a dream come true. The book you've researched for years and poured your soul into is finally, today, being released into the world. After all the struggles of moving, of helping children acclimate, of learning a new city, of juggling motherhood and family and writing, you get to celebrate the realization of a dream.

And on that same day, your doctor tells you to come in right away--you you have stage 4 T-cell lymphoma, possibly caused by the medication you've been taking for MS.

This is what happened to Sandi Rog on November 1, 2010. For the last year, Sandi has endured chemo, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant, with the hope of destroying this aggressive cancer. And then, just a few weeks before the release of her second book, new tumors were discovered near her spine that show the cancer has not succumbed the way we had all hoped.

So now, in the face of the holiday season, the Rog family finds themselves settling in for another year of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual battle as Sandi faces more treatments--one of which holds much promise but is not covered by insurance. As you can imagine, the financial cost of fighting cancer can be overwhelming, and that's why we're hosting this fundraiser.

Right now, we're in the process of soliciting and accepting donations of items we can use to create some of the most spectacular "gift baskets" ever. (The quotes are because there will likely not be any baskets used, but that phrase gives you an idea of what we're aiming for.) As items are received, we'll post here so you can see what kinds of goodies will be available for you to win starting November 25th. To purchase a raffle "ticket", donate $5 at (Be sure NOT to mark your donation as anonymous or to hide your donated amount!) Every $5 you donate will purchase you one raffle ticket. Starting November 25th, we'll post one awesome gift basket per day. To enter the drawing for the basket, leave a comment on the post. Want to enter more than once on the basket you really want? In your comment, note how many "tickets" you're spending. We'll be able to track through how many tickets you purchased. Note that, once your ticket has been spent, you won't get it back if you don't win. (Just like a raffle with physical tickets--once you enter it in a drawing, your ticket is gone.) The comments will close at midnight; comments left after that time will not be counted. We'll use to choose the winner and will post their name the next day.

Email Alison (alison at alisonstrobel dot com) with a description of the item and a photo (if applicable). Include your website if you have one and we'll be sure to link to it when we post about the item. You will be responsible for mailing the item to the winner at the end of the fundraiser (within a week from the win date for non-custom-made items; for custom-made items, be sure to say in your description if the item will be completed and mailed in time for delivery before Christmas). Because we're not raising money for a not-for-profit, your donation is not tax deductible. This is strictly a sacrificial, out-of-the-goodness-of-your-heart donation. For $25, you can purchase advertising space in the sidebar. Then be sure to spread the news far and wide to your friends, family, customers, subscribers, Facebook friends and Twitter followers!

Be sure to have your credit card info available. Click the button and enter your info there. (Note that if you want to purchase more tickets later, you will need to reenter your information at that time as does not store payment info.) Donate as much or as little as you want, and every $5 increment will get you a entry towards the gift basket of your choice. will keep track for us of names and email addresses, so we'll be able to contact you if you win.

We know times are hard for everyone. The economy is in the tank, folks are losing their jobs, and Christmas is probably going to be a lot less materially-focused this year for many people. But, for most of us, the Rogs fall under the "it could be a lot worse" category. Every donation helps. So please give today, and spread the word to help us gather item donations and monetary donations to help keep the Rogs afloat as Sandi fights for her life.

To keep things legal, we have to allow an option for people to enter the raffle without making a purchase. If you wish to bid on a gift basket, leave a comment that states your name, email address so we can contact you if you win, and the phrase "entering without purchasing a bid".


  1. Alison, this is one of the most amazing ideas I have seen in a long time!! "AWESOME" just doesn't cut it! I can't wait to see all of the donated items.

  2. Thanks!! I hope you like what you see. :D Tell all your friends! Tweet it! Facebook it! Blog it! How cool would it be to reach our goal by the time the raffle starts?!

  3. I loved her first book! You are a great friend to set this up. :)

  4. Thanks for doing this. Off to donate now!

  5. I just donated to Sandi Rog's raffle to win Margaret Daley's books. Is this where I plug in what I gave? If not, where do I go?

    Linda Wagner at:

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. I just donated. I got an email that said I have earned one raffle ticket for every $5 that you donated.

    Be sure to visit the blog often to see the raffle prizes you can enter to win; the drawings will begin November 25th.

    Where exactly are we supposed to enter?
    martzbookz (@) sbcglobal (.) net

  7. When the raffle begins on November 25th, we'll start posting each prize package individually. When we post the package you want to win, you'll leave a comment on the post. Your comment is your ticket, so if you donated $20, you'll have 4 tickets/comments that you can use however you want--post them all on one prize package, or spread them out over multiple packages. Once you've made a comment, then that ticket is considered used, so if you run out of tickets/comments and want to enter to win something else, you'll need to go donate again. Make sense? :)

  8. I just donated and also facebooked about it. Sandi is such a doll and an excellent writer. She and her family are in my prayers!

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  10. Love to Sandi, and prayers for a successful, speedy recovery.

  11. Praying for the Rog's and for a successful fundraiser.