KidLit for Ukraine Virtual Benefit to Aid Ukrainian Children

The March 22 benefit will feature children's authorsincluding Nikki Grimes, Jason Chin, Donna Barba Higuera, K.A. Holt, Minh Lê, and Kate Messnersharing true stories of hope.

KitLit TV has organized a virtual benefit for the children of Ukraine. KidLit for Ukraine: Stories of Hope on March 22 will be hosted by Rocco Staino and feature children’s authors sharing true stories of hope. Tickets can be purchased for a donation of any amount, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Save the Children. Organizers are donating the money specifically to the Children's Emergency Fund dedicated to the children of Ukraine.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, author Marc Tyler Nobleman wanted to do something for Ukrainian children. With no experience in putting together an online event, Nobleman says he reached out to Rocco Staino, who connected him with KidLit TV's Julie Gribble. Together, the three pulled together a plan for a sooner-than-later virtual benefit. 

Nobleman contacted Save the Children and set out to field a diverse group of authors to participate. While he says there will be "multiple surprise guests," the announced lineup is already formidable including the 2022 Caldecott and Newbery winners (Jason Chin and Donna Barba Higuera, respectively), as well as Victoria Amelina (Вікторія Амеліна), Kathi Appelt, Adrianna Bamber (Адріянна Бамбер), Samantha Berger, Nick Bruel, Carmen Agra Deedy, Nikki Grimes, K.A. Holt, Olha Kupriyan (Ольга Купріян), Tara Lazar, Minh Lê, Jarrett Lerner, Kate Messner, Roxie Munro, Neal Shusterman, Charles R. Smith Jr., Duncan Tonatiuh, Padma Venkatraman, and Rita Williams-Garcia.

"I encouraged them to tell personal stories or stories they have encountered in their travels," Nobleman said via email. "The stories are not explicitly about Ukraine but rather for Ukraine, though, of course, the Ukrainian authors do tie in that connection in a highly emotional way."

Mike Curato created the logo for the benefit, and on the day the event was announced, they raised nearly $2,000, according to Nobleman. Donations can be made when registering for tickets, as well as during and after the event, he said.

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