From the desk of Stephen King:
In the summer of 1999, I was struck by
a careless driver and nearly killed while taking my daily walk.
It was ten months before I was able to work productively again.
Some years later, a good friend of mine, audio reader Frank
Muller, suffered terrible head injuries as a result of a
motorcycle accident. He will never work again. My luck was
infinitely better than Muller’s, but the two events set me
thinking about the uniquely perilous situation of many freelance
artists. The majority of mid-list writers, audio readers, and
freelancers in the book and publishing industry have little or
no financial cushion in the event of a sudden catastrophic
accident such as that suffered by Muller and myself. Many aren’t
affiliated with any professional associations or guilds that can
help them in the event of such reversals. Even those who are
affiliated with organizations such as The Authors’ Guild cannot
look for much beyond token help over a short period of time.
My response to this has been the creation of The Haven
Foundation. Its goals will be fourfold:
First, to establish a compassionate and committed group of board
members willing to sift through cases and identify those where
the need seems to be the greatest. These “greatest need” cases
would be freelance artists—writers, readers, and those in the
associated publishing industry—who have found themselves unable
to work due to disease or accident. We will also be focusing on
freelancers associated with the book and publishing industry who
lost their homes and work spaces (with freelancers these are
often the same) as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Second, to help a number of these individuals each year, based
Third, to establish cut-off points for such help. As I have
discovered, the decision to cut off aid is an agonizing one, and
best made by a group rather than by an individual. I have come
to believe, however, that it must be made if help is to be
rendered to the many rather than the few.
Fourth, to seek fundraising opportunities so that The Haven
Foundation can continue to do this work.
June 7, 2006
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