Loree Lough

With nearly three million books sold, best-selling author Loree Lough’s titles have earned 4- and 5-star reviews and dozens of awards. Reviewers and readers alike call her “a gifted writer whose stories touch hearts and change lives.” Her 9/11 novel From Ashes to Honor (#1 in First Responders series, Abingdon) hits bookshelves to coordinate with the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. Loree lives near Baltimore and loves spending time at her teeny tiny cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she loves to show off her talent for correctly identifying critter tracks. Visit Loree at http://wwwloreelough.com.

Loree's Lough Down

Charity Really Does Begin at Home

So how do you like my friend? Gorgeous, isn’t he? He’s fixed onto my computer’s desktop, and I look forward to peering into his eyes every time I log on.

I’ve been enamored of wolves since the early ’90s when research for my novel Montana Sky led me to The Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania. All it took was one visit and I was hooked . . . not only by the magnificent creatures, but by the deplorable conditions that forced the sanctuary’s caretakers to adopt them.I find it ironic that the ignorance and cruelty of one group of humans is responsible for imprisoning these beautiful animals in chain-link enclosures, while another group dutifully volunteers to care for the wolves, 24/7/365. I live too far away to help the volunteers meet the wolves’ day-to-day needs, so I join forces with others who donate as much as possible, as often as possible (because food, shelter, and veterinary care doesn’t come cheap).

Book by book, research led me to other charities, and my list of favorites grew. And grew. Thanks to the knowledgeable researchers at The Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Autism Society, the American Cancer Society, the Heart Association, and a dozen or so other worthwhile organizations, I learned more about each disorder and incorporated the lessons into my characters’ lives.

Then to ensure realism in my first responder series, I conducted dozens of in-depth interviews with 9/11 survivors and their families. Not only did I learn about the striking similarities between firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and the brave men and women who serve in our military, I also added more names to my favorite charities list:

Special Operations Warrior Foundation (http://www.specialops.org) makes it possible for the kids of our fallen soldiers to attend college. Soldiers’ Angels (http://soldiersangels.org) collects and ships letters and care packages to deployed soldiers and provides uplifting events for their families.

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (http://www.ocrf.org) and the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (http://www.pancan.org) work tirelessly to find a cure for these deadly diseases.

Maybe your “cause” is tigers, or bald eagles, St. Jude’s Hospital, the Red Cross, or a mission outreach sponsored by your church.

We’ve all learned the hard way that it isn’t easy pulling our belts in another notch—especially in today’s hard economic times—and we’re equally aware how satisfying and fulfilling it is to help others who are worse off than ourselves.

If you aren’t already involved with a favorite charity (or two!) of your own, try one of these on for size:

Wounded Warriors Project
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Soldiers’ Angels 
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund 
Autism Society of America 
Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania 
The Lighthouse Church 
Total Christian Television 

What our contributions do for our souls can’t be bought with dollars and cents, can they?

And just imagine how your readers will react when you weave those emotions into your next novel!


An Accidental Family