Children’s book author runs crowdfunding campaign

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Matt Gardner
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Most authors seek to reach the largest possible audience with their writing, but Audi Osowsky has taken her pursuit of that goal one step further.

Having published her first children’s book, Joy and the Flower Fiesta, the local author and life coach has now embarked on a crowdfunding “Kindness Campaign” with a highly ambitious goal.

Known as the Goal of 100 and created using the website Pubslush, the campaign aims to fund a tour across North American that will see Osowsky distribute copies of her book to 100 school classrooms throughout Canada and the United States.

“I’d like to do some presentations to schools and get kids choosing more joy and just more kindness with themselves,” the author said, echoing a central theme of her book -- the first title in the Be Kind With Joy series.

“I’d love to see kids start to recognize what they’re great at and what their gifts and talents are instead of judging themselves and looking at all the things they can’t do -- and that’s really what the Kindness Campaign is about, is gifting these books to kids so that they can choose more kindness for themselves.”

Potential donors and/or those who would like to buy copies of the book can contribute to the campaign at www.bekindwithjoy.pubslush.com.

Nine different options are available, with contributions ranging from $1 to $1,200. All funds raised will go towards covering travel costs as well as the cost of the books themselves.

As a work of literature, Joy and the Flower Fiesta reflects many of the lessons Osowsky provides to adults in her career as a life coach, albeit targeted at a much younger audience.

The book tells the story of a little girl named Joy with a talent for helping others see positive qualities in themselves that they might have overlooked -- in this case, her friend Almonzo.

Believing himself to be silly, clumsy and not very good at anything, Almonzo learns from Joy that he in fact capable of a great many unique skills.

“These children’s books are a way of helping kids tap into this idea of what I already help adults with all the time, and that’s really acknowledging what they’re wonderful at and what they’re amazing at,” Osowsky said.

“I see so many people unhappy just because they judge themselves so intensely and all the time that what I help people do is really get out of that self-judgment and start to realize what’s great about them, which really starts to empower them to have that joy and confidence that they’ve really always had.”

I’d like to do some presentations to schools and get kids choosing more joy and just more kindness with themselves. Audi Osowsky

Even as she tailored her message for a different audience, Osowsky noted that adapting her life coaching skills for children was less difficult than one might assume.

In part, she said, their receptivity to adopting a more positive self-image lay in natural differences between how children and adults view the world.

“I think children are already so aware, and a lot of time that joy and that confidence and that level of fun is already something that they know … whereas a lot of adults might have forgotten it along the way,” Osowsky said.

“You have to kind of remind them what that joy was, whereas kids know it. They are so aware and they’re just so incredibly creative that they exactly know what I was talking about, which has been really fun.”

Even as she hopes to spread her positive message to children across the continent, Osowsky’s 30-day crowdfunding campaign has been struggling to reach its goal.

With only 10 days left as of Tuesday, the campaign had raised only $75 of its $20,000 goal, or 1 per cent.

“I find that a lot of my local contacts really aren’t clear about what a crowd-funding campaign is and it’s just something that’s really new to Prince Albert … this idea that we all actually raise money together to kind of do this one big goal or target,” Osowsky said. “So that’s something I’ve had a tough time explaining to people.”

While retaining her optimism, Osowsky also noted that she is planning a Prince Albert book signing in the near future -- though no date has been officially set.

Additional information on Joy and the Flower Fiesta is available at www.bekindwithjoy.com, where children can also enter a colouring contest by downloading and printing pages.

Prizes will be awarded for the contest in three different age groups according to classroom/school.

See also:

Things aren't as they seem, life coach says

Organizations: Kindness Campaign, North American, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Canada, United States

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