Thursday, November 7, 2013

Vote Now Until November 21st for Harlequin's 2014 More Than Words Candiates

The Program:


MTWInfographic-webClick here to see an infographic on how More Than Words gifts have benefitted the community.
Somewhere right now, a woman’s compassion is improving the quality of life in her community—not only for herself but for those she cares about most.

With each act of kindness, each word of support, she is proving that heroines do exist. And at Harlequin we believe her story should be told!

We solicit nominations of women who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities. With your support, we hope to turn awareness into action, and mobilize others to become engaged and make a difference in their community.

Information detailing how readers can get involved in their own communities in projects related to the award recipients’ chosen causes will be available both in print and on our web site.

The Harlequin More Than Words program is responsible for the administration of Harlequin’s social responsibility initiatives dedicated to the well-being of women.


  • The Harlequin More Than Words program aims to enhance the well-being of women. Our goals are to: 

  • Raise awareness about worthy causes that are of concern to women 

  • Provide financial assistance to these important charities 

  • Engage employees, authors and readers and the general public in worthy causes and provide opportunities for them to make a difference

    Novellas Resources Contact Official Rules Privacy Policy

Harlequin More Than Words 2014 Nominee - Linda Burston

Linda Burston VOTE

Women’s Lunch Place

Linda Burston has been the support coordinator at the Women’s Lunch Place for the past 14 years. In this role, she counsels and supports homeless and poor women. Linda helps to manage the shelter floor, providing guidance to other staff and volunteers and helping to create a welcoming atmosphere for guests. She helps the women get off the streets, increase their self-confidence and develop independence. Linda struggled with homelessness and addiction herself, and turned her life around through the help of Women’s Lunch Place. Now, Linda has made extraordinary contributions to the Greater Boston community. At the Women’s Lunch Place, she helps women recover from poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness.

About Women’s Lunch Place

The Women’s Lunch Place provides meals, shelter and essential services for homeless and poor women during the day, when many overnight shelters are closed. They create a safe, comfortable environment for over 1,000 vulnerable women each year, providing a refuge from the isolation and instability they face on the streets. The shelter offers nutritious breakfasts and lunches, shower and laundry facilities, a nap room, a library, art therapy, a job-readiness program and other resources for women to improve their quality of life and restore their self-worth. Women who struggle with mental illness, substance abuse and other serious challenges may seek help from the Women’s Lunch Place over the course of years. The shelter accepts each woman without judgment, regardless of her circumstances, and helps to meet her specific needs while honoring her dignity.

Harlequin More Than Words 2014 Nominee - Shari Duval

Shari Duval VOTE

K9s for Warriors

As president, Shari Duval’s responsibilities include overseeing all activities of K9s For Warriors, specifically concentrating on spreading awareness of the organization. Shari is also involved in the social media aspect of K9s For Warriors, including daily posts and contact with past, current and future veterans within the program. She is also instrumental in scheduling and planning all fundraising. Shari’s work with post-9/11 veterans is an inspiration. As each warrior comes for their three weeks of live-in training, Shari is with them every step of the way. From their arrival on the first day, until graduation day and beyond, she is always there with kindness, words of support and tough love. Even after the warriors leave the “dog house,” they keep in touch with her via email, Facebook and phone calls. The positive effect she has had on warriors, canines and the community is truly inspirational.

About K9s For Warriors

K9s For Warriors is a nonprofit organization that provides service dogs to combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury as a result of the wars since 9/11. Its three-week program provides warriors with a trained service dog, equipment, vet care, all meals and emotional support. There is no charge for the service. Once the warrior arrives, he/she begins the final training process. This allows them the opportunity to be a part of the solution to their recovery.

Harlequin More Than Words 2014 Nominee - Megan Yunn

Megan Yunn VOTE

Beverly’s Birthdays

Megan (Megs) Yunn is the president and founder of Beverly’s Birthdays. Megan founded Beverly’s Birthdays in 2012 with the help of a grant she received through Scholastic’s BE BIG in Your Community Contest. Megan likes to live her life guided by the phrase, “A life without cause is a life without effect.” So every day she fights for her cause in order to better and affect the lives of those around her. Beverly’s Birthdays is a simple concept: to throw birthday parties for struggling children, but unfortunately, before Megan, it was overlooked in the Pittsburgh region. She receives no income from the organization, but she continues to be passionate about it and driven for it to succeed to serve more shelters and more children. Megan will not give up until she’s given every child a happy birthday memory that they will remember for years to come.

About Beverly’s Birthdays

Beverly’s Birthdays believes in spreading birthday cheer 365 days a year, and that every child, regardless of personal or financial circumstances, deserves a birthday celebration. Megan Yunn and Beverly’s Birthdays currently serve ten homeless shelters in the Pittsburgh region by throwing birthday parties for the children living in the shelters. In the future, Beverly’s Birthdays hopes to provide a birthday celebration for every child living in transitional or emergency shelters in the Pittsburgh region.

Harlequin More Than Words 2014 Nominee - Sarah Cronk

Sarah Cronk VOTE

The Sparkle Effect

Sarah Cronk, the founder of The Sparkle Effect, also serves as its president and creative director. Currently a student at Whitman College, Sarah helped to create and coach the nation’s first high-school-based inclusive cheerleading squad at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa, when she was just 15 years old. Sarah not only helps to generate teams through promotional tours and peer mentoring, she travels the country to provide free on-site training and uniforms to new inclusive teams. In 2011, Do Something named Sarah “the nation’s best young world-changer.” Clay Aiken’s National Inclusion Project has recognized Sarah as a Champion of Change for her work in encouraging the world to abandon perceptions of normalcy while learning to embrace and appreciate diversity. Most recently, Sarah was selected for a World of Children Award, dubbed by the press as the Nobel Prize for child advocacy.

About The Sparkle Effect

The Sparkle Effect is an innovative, student-run program that empowers teens nationwide to include students with disabilities in school-based cheerleading and dance programs. Sparkle Effect teams are truly inclusive: typically students with and without disabilities practice and perform as one team at school sporting events. The Sparkle Effect provides a Quick-Start Kit, grants for uniforms and free on-site training to make starting an inclusive team easy and fun! The result: Students with disabilities experience true acceptance and gain confidence while high-school students become passionate leaders that inspire entire communities to embrace inclusion.

Harlequin More Than Words 2014 Nominee - Ann McGee

Ann McGee

Miracle Flights for Kids

Ann McGee recognized the need for the coordination of aviation services that could provide no-cost transportation for blood, donor organs, and sick children to medical facilities around the country. Out of this realization, Ann McGee founded Miracle Flights for Kids to provide families with free flights to hospitals and treatment centers they could otherwise not reach because of financial hardship.
Through her vision and dedication, the program grew from a mere handful of flights for local kids into a nationwide effort that helps boys and girls from all corners of the country. Through these miracle missions, Ann McGee has stood true to her belief that money should never stand in the way of children getting to the best possible medical treatment—no matter how far away it might be.

About Miracle Flights for Kids

The mission of Miracle Flights for Kids® is to improve access to healthcare by providing financial assistance for medical air travel to hospitals across America, to promote awareness of its services through targeted outreach programs and to enlist the help of community-minded people through a strategic call to action.
Miracle Flights for Kids assures families with limited financial resources that their sick child is not without options. It also encourages parents to seek out nationally recognized doctors who specialize in their child’s disease or rare disorder and to get second opinions. Miracle Flights for Kids believes a second opinion is an important part of determining the best treatment options available.

The vision to help children in need, at a time in their young lives when other avenues of help and hope are closed to them, came from thousands of donors and volunteers across the nation.


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