Publishing for Relief

With the rise of global warming, natural disasters are becoming more and more common. As a new student to publishing, and as someone that wants to continue in this field, I’m left to wonder how this multi-billion dollar business can help. After the recent hurricanes that have devastated Puerto Rico, the publishing industry is taking a stand to help. #PubforPR (Publishing for Puerto Rico) was an auction held in the wake of hurricane María. Auctioning off everything from signed books to custom artwork, the auction received over 4,500 bids with all donations going toward Unidos por Puerto Rico and ConPRmetidos. This willingness to come together and help led me to wonder what else the publishing industry has done to help with relief efforts.

The Society of Typographic Aficionados is an organization with a precedent for helping others.Founded on their love of typography, The Society of Typographic Aficionados has held eight of their Font Aids. Started in 1999 by Claes Källarsson, the first Font Aid was established to provide aid to Unicef to help refugees of war and natural disasters. That first Font Aid brought together more than twenty-five type designers to create a collaborative font. Their most recent project, from 2015, was Font Aid VIII with proceeds going towards relief in Nepal after two terrible earthquakes that affected Nepal and the surrounding Himalayan region (according to their website). Most notable was their Font Aid IV which was a collection of over 400 ampersands which provided aid to Haitian earthquake victims.

After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the publishing industry stepped up to provide relief as well. According to Publishers Weekly, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and Hachette all provided aid to Harvey’s victims. From helping with funding to getting classroom libraries back up and running, the publishing industry seems to enjoy giving back.

This blog post isn’t the end all be all of disaster relief provided by the publishing industry as a whole. I’ve chosen not to include specific authors that may make regular donations to charities. I just find it heartwarming that this industry that I’m looking forward to being a part of is doing more than just watching disasters happen. They are also trying to make a difference to help out those in need as well.