Write a Book and Ignite Your Business

October 23, 2017

Are you a business owner looking for surefire way to get the edge over your competition? Thanks to social media, the advertising world is changing. People can connect with you and your products like never before. They want to see the face behind the product. In addition, people want to know what is in it for them. They don’t care about the features so much as they want to know how what you do will benefit them. Writing a Book related to your business opens doors like nothing else can.

 

Writing a book can help you:

  1. Offer more than just your business card to your high end clients
  2. Demonstrate to your clients that you are an expert in your industry
  3. Go places you would never have dreamed of going
  4. Provide numerous chances for free publicity and even publicity that pays you!
  5. Find the ultimate marketing tool!

 

No longer is it necessary to send your book out to a traditional publisher to publish your books. You don’t have to depend on vanity presses either. Today, it is possible to publish using a system called self-publishing where you do the work of writing your book then prepare it for publication, have copies printed using print on demand technology, then market the book yourself. This book not only tells you why you should write a book to ignite your business, but it gives you a step-by-step guide that shows you how to go through the self-publishing process from an author who has been through the process numerous times.

 

This is the tenth self-published book by Cygnet Brown. She is the author of the historical romantic fiction series depicting the trials of an early American family: The Locket Saga. She has also written several nonfiction books which include: Simply Vegetable Gardening, Help from Kelp, Living Today, and Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard.

 

Get your print copy today.

 

Please help me spread the word! Share this post with your friends on your favorite social media sites!

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Recently I read a story about a young realtor who wrote a book about “What every ‘for sale by owner’ homeowner needs to know to sell their house”.  He self-published that book. He gave instructions on step by step instructions of everything that an owner needs to know to complete the sales process on their own. He then would go around town looking for “for sale by owner” properties and knock at the door, introduce himself and give them one of the books. Although he eventually sold a number of books, his goal wasn’t to sell books but to promote his expertise as someone who knew how to sell a house. Many of the homeowners, who he gave his books to, did actually use the book to sell their own homes. When their friends wanted to sell their own homes, but didn’t want to sell it themselves, the homeowners who had the book knew that of a realtor who knew his stuff and recommended the one who came to their door and gave them the book.

Others, however, after reading the book many homeowners realized that they couldn’t go through the red tape needed to sell their house so they knew that the realtor who gave them the book with no strings attached was their realtor of choice. This realtor ended up with more business than he could handle himself.  If you own a business that you would like to grow, having a book out that is related to that business may be the marketing tool that can also put you over the top.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing for Business Owners

At first, a business owner might think that their best bet might be to go with a traditional publisher, but there are advantages in self-publishing. Self-publishing has its benefits: more control, more agility and speed than traditional publishing. You can focus on writing and publishing, instead of waiting around to hear if somebody wants to publish you.

But it also has its risks: you need to have a well-designed book, a nice looking website, and you need to set up a marketing funnel, but if you’re already in business online, you’ve already got a start. You also have some idea who your readers are and how to reach them. Luckily, it’s never been easier, so if you’re willing to learn and spend some money, you can give your book every chance at success. That said, the average author spends $2000 to $5000 to publish their books, and few authors earn any money. (Books get cheaper to publish the more you learn. Publishing doesn’t cost me anything, because I format, edit and design myself… but I am also in the author business). Less than 10% of independent authors sell more than 1000 copies in the lifetime of the book.

You can spend much less if you want to, but it’s hard to get quality work done on the cheap. However, it’s also possible to have a smash hit with a mediocre cover. A lot of that depends on how you intend to use that book to market your business.

What Book is in You?

Now that you know that self-publishing is an option for your book, it’s time to start thinking about what book topic would best serve you and your business. What do you wish your customers understood about what you do? Pay attention to the questions that your customers ask you. Those questions could be the keys to the subject of your book. More about this later. For now, just think about what your book’s subject.

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October 9, 2017

Is Your Year on Track?

I am certainly trying to keep mine on track! Can you believe that three-fourths of the year has already passed? Have you done three-fourths of everything that you wanted to get done this year or are you behind? As far as my writing schedule goes, I am still on track for getting what I intend to finish by the end of this year. However, regarding my business and book marketing, I am not where I want to be right now. I have improved since the beginning of the year on almost every level.

Now here it is already the second week in October. This week I start a new part-time job. In addition to substitute teaching, I am part of an afterschool tutoring program for elementary children. I could put my writing goals aside to spend all my time into teaching, but I am not going to do that. Instead I am going to see how much I actually can get done in the time I have left.

Gearing up

In November NaNoWriMo starts again. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it is National Novel Writing Month. It is a month long event that occurs every year where storytellers write down the first fifty-thousand word first draft of their first or next novel in just thirty days. This year will be my ninth year and I intend to win again. (Everyone is a winner who writes the 50K)  If you too have ever thought of writing a novel, participating in NaNoWriMo is a fantastic way to make amazing progress in a single month by finishing the first draft.

Start the Pre-writing Process Now

Though there are a lot of people who start their novel from scratch on the first day of November, I personally like to do some prewriting in October in preparation for getting the actual event in November. The two most important aspects of the novel writing include developing characters and the plot. Although I think that it is important to develop realistic characters, I like to start with a basic plot with which to give those characters something to do.

The Seven Universal Story Lines

Do you know that all plots fall under seven universal story lines? These universal story lines include: overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, the voyage, comedy, tragedy, and rebirth. Every story line you could imagine falls into one of these seven categories. If you can’t think of a plot, examine these story lines and take your imagination and run with it.

Overcoming the Monster

Hero learns of a great evil threatening the land, and sets out to destroy it. Many war stories, apocalyptic stories, or political thrillers fall into this category.

Rags to riches

Surrounded by dark forces who suppress and ridicule him, the Hero slowly blossoms into a mature figure who ultimately gets riches, a kingdom, and the perfect mate. Oliver Twist and The Prince and The Pauper are rags to riches stories.

The Quest

Hero learns of a great MacGuffin (a motivating element in a story that is used to drive the plot. It serves no further purpose) that he desperately wants or needs to find, and sets out to find it, often with companions. Go no further than the Lord of the Rings Trilogy to understand this universal story line.

The Voyage and Return

Hero heads off into a magic land with crazy rules, ultimately triumphs over the madness and returns home far more mature than when he set out. The Odyssey would be an example.

Comedy

Hero and Heroine are destined to get together, but a dark force is preventing them from doing so; the story conspires to make the dark force repent, and suddenly the Hero and Heroine are free to get together. This is part of a cascade of effects that shows everyone for who they really are, and allows two or more other relationships to correctly form. Every romance novel ever written falls into this category.

Tragedy

The flip side of the Overcoming the Monster plot. Our protagonist character is the Villain, but we get to watch him slowly spiral down into darkness before he’s finally defeated, freeing the land from his evil influence. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are examples.

Rebirth

As with the Tragedy plot, but our protagonist manages to realize his error before it’s too late, and does a 180 degree turn to avoid inevitable defeat Think of a character like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol or The Ginch in How the Ginch Stole Christmas.

Not Sure Which Universal Plot to Use?

There’s a good chance that you have either a plot idea that you want to use or you have started to develop a couple of characters and a setting. You might already see which universal story line you want to use. However, perhaps you don’t. There’s nothing to keep you from playing around with several different story lines.

 

As I am reading this, I realize that with The Locket Saga series, I could fall into a predictable pattern of using just one or two of these story lines. However, as I look over the list, I see several different ideas that I could use to create some variety. I hope you do too as you consider your first or next work of fiction.

 

 

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Beat the drum and help potential readers find your book with a better than average book description

In my upcoming book: Write a Book to Ignite your Business, I demonstrate not only how writing a book  can provide an awesome marketing tool for your business, but I also show business owners how to actually write the book. One of the first things I recommend they do is to write their book description.  The seven elements needed to nail it include: having a compelling hook, having a great thesis statement, putting it in present tense, writing in the third person (most of the time), using the right key words, using power words, and making the reader want  to read more by providing a cliffhanger.

  1. The Narrative Hook

Whether you are writing nonfiction or fiction, a hook draws the reader in, encouraging the reader to invest time in reading your book description.

Here are fourteen types of hooks:

Advice

Words of advice that will make an impact on your reader.

 

Anecdote

A short and amusing story about an incident or a person, usually famous.

 

Bold Statement

A statement or assertion that arouses an opinion or response from your reader.

 

Contradiction

A pair of concepts that don’t go together.

 

Definition

A definition (Caution—don’t quote the dictionary) of a term or concept that is relevant to your work.

 

Dilemma

A situation where a choice must be made between two or more, usually undesirable, outcomes.

 

Fact

An interesting fact from a reliable source.

 

Famous quote

A quote from a famous person that is relevant to your work.

 

Humor

A joke, quip, or scene that arouses laughter or amusement in your readers.

 

Personal experience

A short story about an experience in your life that is relevant to the writing topic.

 

Rhetorical question

A question that inspires curiosity, but that cannon be simply answered (but it should be addressed in your essay).

 

Setting

A description of a scene or setting that stimulates any of the five senses.

 

Simile or metaphor

A comparison of one thing to another, usually unrelated, thing.

 

Statistic

A startling statistic from a reliable source.

 

 

  1. The Right Thesis Statement

The right thesis statement is essay 101 and is basically being able to say in one sentence what your book is all about. If you can’t, then you don’t know your book well enough.

 

  1. Present Tense

Present tense means the action in the description is happening now and you want your reader to actively feel that your book is relevant now rather than in the past or even in the future.  Use words like “is” rather than “was” and “what people are saying rather than “what people have said” to emulate the idea that this book is a book for today.

 

  1. Third Person

In the case of most books, write in the third person “he” or “she” is doing this rather than” I did this” or “you did this”.  One exception is the how-to book where you might want to use second person in your description.

 

  1. Key Words

Do you know which keywords are frequently put in the search bar but are seldom written and that relate to your book’s topic?

 

Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.

 

It’s not always about getting visitors to read your book description, but about getting the right kind of visitors. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overstated; with keyword research you can produce the content that web searchers are actively seeking.

 

Understanding which websites already rank for your keyword gives you valuable insight into the competition, and also how hard it will be to rank for the given term. Are there search advertisements running along the top and right-hand side of the organic results? Typically, many search ads means a high-value keyword, and multiple search ads above the organic results often means a highly lucrative and directly conversion-prone keyword.

The key though is not to just throw in keywords that just have the best scores however. It is most important that the key words relate directly to what your book description (and book!) is all about.

 

  1. Power Words

Power words are words that excite the reader. The most powerful word is because. We will be more successful at doing whatever it is that we say because  we offer this reason.

 

Some words have been overused, however. “New and improved”, “more”, “free”, and a few others have become spam because they have been written a little too often and are no longer as powerful as they used to be. This is because of their over use and abuse.

 

One of the greatest ad campaigns simply used the ‘if then’ duo to sell its message. If you spend only five minutes a day then you will…..fill in what ever success you could imagine. Surely your have five minutes you could spend every day?

 

Simply put if and add an appropriate reasonable action with a resulting then. Use this power word duo and take note of how it improves your power of persuasion.

 

Let the evidence or the authority speak for you. Let the higher authority leverage what you say. Use the power words to act as the pry bar to give you that leverage. Use an anecdotal authority story as a group of power words in your book description to create a set of power words.  A story about how you did something that is in your book or a story about how something didn’t work and how you had to fix it.

 

More power words exist. A study of these words by googling “power words” can help you develop stronger reasons in your description for readers to buy your book.

 

7. Cliffhanger

Just as the hook draws the reader in to invest time in reading your book description, the cliffhanger encourages the reader to purchase and read your book. Put a cliffhanger at the end of your description that leaves the audience in suspense, wanting more than what the description offers and looking to the book to provide the answers that the description doesn’t .

Different Types of Books Require Different Applications of the above elements, therefore it makes sense to study how effective other authors have used these elements in their descriptions of the books within your genre and good luck your book!


September 25, 2017

This is a replica of Robert Fulton’s Clemont steamboat, the New Orleans, the first steamboat to travel from Pittsburgh, PA to New Orleans, had a similar design.

Writing comes in different stages. There is prewriting, drafting, self-editing content, proofreading, and allowing someone else to edit what I write. After that there’s formatting, cover design, and marketing. I could start at point A and go straight through to book sales. I don’t do that. Rather, I start new writing projects at certain times of the year whether I have finished the entire publishing process for previous books or not. As I am writing this, I just finished writing the final edits on Book VI of the Locket Saga: The Anvil, and my next nonfiction book: Write a Book to Ignite Your Business. In addition, I am still working on Book VII of the Locket Saga: Two Rivers. This Sunday I started Book VIII of the Locket Saga: As yet, not yet named book.

NaNoWriMo for the Ninth Year!

Every year in November every year for the past eight years, I have entered and won NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is the acronym for National Novel Writing Month. During November all over the world, hundreds of thousands of novels are started. In order to win, the author must write fifty thousand words of a first draft of their novel.

Pre-Writing

It is my understanding that November is for writing the first draft, not necessarily for starting to think about writing the book. That is why toward the end of September, I start the writing process with prewriting. The pre-writing includes several different activities that I like to have done before I start the first draft in November. These include: determining the basic plot, main characters, and doing at least the initial research.

The Basic Plot

I have determined the basic plot of this upcoming book. It is sort of a continuation of Two Rivers. Two Rivers is primarily the story of Isaac Thorton and Rebecca Miles and Isaac’s journey with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This book is the story of Andrew Mayford who goes south to Natchez, Mississippi. Although he has gone down the Mississippi several times by flatboat, in 1811, Andrew becomes the first pilot of a steamship down the Mississippi, changing the way Americans relate to the Mississippi forever. Of course, this is an actual event. During my research for previous books, I discovered numerous interesting facts about these series of events that I think should be told in fictional story form.

The Main Characters

There’s Robert Fulton, a man named Livingston, there’s Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt who went on the trip, their two young children, and their servants and of course Andrew. All of these characters need to be developed from just names on a page to what I as the author view as living breathing people. One of these servant girls is Andrew’s love interest. These are called character sketches.

Research

I love research! Research takes me from a vague idea of what happened to feeling as though I was actually present at that time and place. Because  this story is going from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Natchez Mississippi, I will need to research not just what those two cities were like at that time but also every city in between. Also there were specific Native Americans they met along the way and a major historical event that directly related to the journey of the steamboat. I have to research this as well.

 

One of the big research projects that I am currently working on is reading Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. It was, of course written a few years later, (1863), but the book does relate to the Mississippi and to steamboats which is exactly the topic this book.

It is a Start, Just a Start

This is not all there is to the pre-writing process, but it is a beginning. However, by the time November comes along, I will be ready to start that first draft.

Need a Good Title

As stated earlier, I still don’t have a good working title. What do you think would make a good title for this book?

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September 18, 2017

I am not a Jew and have no intention of calling myself a Jew.. I do not believe in Replacement Theology. I am a Gentile, a  Christian. I am not under the law, I am not. I have been redeemed from the law of sin and death that the law brought. I do not believe that God changed his mind concerning the Jews. I believe that they remain God’s chosen people.However, I shouldn’t throw out the Old Testament because years ago,  I have learned that there are things that I can learn from the Old Testament. I learned that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. I learned that everything in the Old Testament points forward to the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his second coming,  and everything in the New Testament points back to the coming death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his second coming.

I read the whole Bible through the first time when I was twelve and when I was going through it, I remember coming across Psalm 22 for the first time. It didn’t take me any teacher to show me that it was a prophetic psalm of David that revealed the inner thoughts of Jesus Christ while he hung on the cross two thousand years in the future.

When I was in my late teens I learned about types in the Bible. These types were hints of what was coming in Jesus Christ.

Rosh Hashanah, One of the Seven Jewish Feasts

The Seven Jewish feasts are indicative of the events that are to occur that related to future events as well as memories to be shared. They are in themselves prophetic of past and future events. The first three feasts represent what happened during passion week. The feast of First Fruits or Pentecost occurs at fifty days after the last day of the earlier feasts. This was indicative of the empowering of the church. The last three feasts occur one right after the other and the first of those three feasts is the Feast of Trumpets. These last three feasts last seven days.

The first of these is Rosh Hoshanna. It occurs in 2017 from September 20-23, and is also know as the Feast of Trumpets. During Rosh Hashanah is to blow a primitive trumpet known as a shofar. According to Rabbi Shraga Simmons when blowing the trumpet, there are three distinct sounds.

Tekiah – one long, straight blast

Shevarim – three medium, wailing sounds

Teruah – 9 quick blasts in short succession

 

The Tekiah Sound

 

Rosh Hashana is the day of appreciating who God is. On this day, the Jews internalize that understanding so that it becomes a living, practical part of our everyday reality. God is all-powerful. God is the Creator. God is the Sustainer. God is the Supervisor. In short, God is King of the Universe.

 

But for many of us, the idea of a “king” conjures up images of a greedy and power-hungry despot who wants to subjugate the masses for his selfish aims.

 

In Jewish tradition, a king is first and foremost a servant of the people. His only concern is that the people live in happiness and harmony. His decrees and laws are only for the good of the people, not for himself. (see Maimonides, Laws of Kings 2:6)

 

The object of Rosh Hashanah is to crown God as our King. Tekiah – the long, straight shofar blast – is the sound of the King’s coronation (Malbim – Numbers 10:2). In the Garden of Eden, Adam’s first act was to proclaim God as King.

Today, for Christians, we have a greater covenant promise than the Jews of the Old Testament. We, Christians call Jesus Christ our Lord of Lords and King of Kings. We set our values straight and return to the reality that Jesus Christ is the One Who runs the world… guiding history, moving mountains, and caring for each and every human being individually and personally.

 

Maimonides adds one important qualification: It isn’t enough that God is MY King alone. If ALL humanity doesn’t recognize God as King, then there is something lacking in my own relationship with God. Part of my love for the Almighty is to help guide all people to an appreciation of Him. Of course this is largely an expression of my deep caring for others. But it also affects my own sense of God’s all-encompassing Kingship.

 

As a Christian it is my duty, my act of LOVE to my Creator and King to share his love with others around me. Therefore I put up what Maimonides says into a Christian perspective. It isn’t enough that Jesus Christ is MY King alone. If ALL humanity doesn’t recognize Jesus Christ as King, then there is something lacking in my own relationship with Christ. Part of my love for Christ is to help guide all people to an appreciation of Jesus Christ. Of course, this is largely an expression of my deep caring for others, but it aso affects my own sense of Jesus Christ’s all-encompassing Kingship.

 

The Shevarim Sound

 

When we think about the year gone by, we know deep down that we’ve failed to live up to our full potential. In the coming year, we yearn not to waste that opportunity ever again. The Kabbalists say that Shevarim – three medium, wailing blasts – is the sobbing cry of a Jewish heart – yearning to connect, to grow, to achieve. (Tikunei Zohar – 20-21, 49a)

 

Every person has the ability to change and be great. This can be accomplished much faster than you ever dreamed of. The key is to pray from the bottom of your heart and ask God for the ability to become great. Don’t let yourself be constrained by the past. You know you have enormous potential.

 

At the moment the shofar is blown, we cry out to God from the depths of our soul. This is the moment – when our souls stand before the Almighty without any barriers – that we can truly let go.

 

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I too cry out to him. When I bare my soul to him, I cry out not just for myself, but for others too.

 

The Teruah Sound

 

On Rosh Hashana, the Jews wake up and be honest and objective about their lives: Who they are, where they’ve been, and which direction they’re headed. The Teruah sound – 9 quick blasts in short succession – resembles an alarm clock, arousing them from our spiritual slumber. The shofar brings clarity, alertness, and focus. (Malbim – Yoel 2:1)

 

The Talmud says: “When there’s judgment from below, there’s no need for judgment from above.” What this means is that if we take the time to construct a sincere, realistic model of how we’ve fallen short in the past, and what we expect to change in the future, then God doesn’t need to “wake us up” to what we already know.

 

As a Christian, we know that when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we recognize that we are sinners. We judge ourselves unfit for heaven. We recognize that there is only one way that we avoid the judgement of God when we enter the hereafter. We recognize that our salvation isn’t based on what we do, but what Jesus Christ has already done and for that we are and must be humbly grateful.

 

God wants us to make an honest effort to maximize the gifts He gave us. You aren’t expected to be anything you’re not. But you can’t hoodwink God, either.

 

The reason we lose touch and make mistakes is because we don’t take the time every day to reconnect with our deepest desires and essence. The solution is to spend time alone every day, asking: Am I on track? Am I focused? Am I pursuing goals which will make the greatest overall difference in my life and in the world?

 

The Rabbis tell the Jews to make it a habit to keep in touch with yourself, and when Rosh Hashanah comes around, the alarm clock of the shofar won’t be nearly as jarring!

 

I believe that this sounding of the Shofar will eventually correlate with the Jewish realization of who Jesus Christ is. I believe that this event also is when the great Harpazo (catching away) occurs, when the true believers are taken.to wait out the judgement and wrath that will occur during the seven years of tribulation. At the same time, the trumpets will show the Jews how much they need not just a savior, but that the Savior has already come. They will recognize who Jesus Christ is, they will repent for their denial of him and desire to bring the whole world to him and finally, they will focus all their attention on the work of bringing souls to Christ. The final outpouring of the spirit will not be from Christian believers, but from Jews who believe that Jesus Christ is their Messiah.

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Writing While Watching Irma

This weekend, I had been watching the progress of the catastrophic storm that Irma has become make its way up the coast of Florida. I am writing this on Sunday, so the storm has just started coming onto land in Florida. From the looks of it, the storm will be hugging the west coast of the state maintaining its strength as a category 4 storm most of the state’s length. My prayers are with the residents of that state just as they were with residents of the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey.

 

Here in Missouri, the weather is perfect. Temperatures are in the upper seventies and low eighties with low humidity. Ironically, here in Missouri, we could use some of rain (haven’t had any for almost three weeks) and it doesn’t look as though we will be getting any of Irma’s rain.

Living Today, The Power of Now, Live on Kindle

Cover B

My latest book, Living Today, the Power of Now, is now live on Kindle. The book is only $2.99 on Kindle (higher cost in print, of course) and like all of my books, it is free if you use Kindle Unlimited.

Final Edits on Two New Books

Yesterday I got the final edits back of two new books. These books I will have to work making the changes my editor recommends and then start preparing for publication. I have developed a pretty good system of getting the editing and formatting in print and in digital formats done. I also need get a good cover for my books and then they will be ready to be launched. These two books will be Book VI of the Locket Saga: The Anvil and a nonfiction book: Write a Book To Ignite Your Business.

Other Books in the Works

In addition to the edits on the two books already mentioned, I am also working on the second draft of Book VII of the Locket Saga: Two Rivers.

 

In addition, I am thinking about what I am going to write about in Book VIII of the Locket Saga (the exact title has not yet been determined. I was talking with someone about the ideas that I have for this next book. One of the things that I found during my research was about what happened during the first steamboat trip down the Mississippi. I’ll tell more about that history at a later date.

Finally, there is marketing both online and in person. I have been working a lot on twitter during the past few weeks, but one of my main events is coming up. Next weekend, I will be in Marionville, Missouri at the Meeting Place on the main road in the town from 11-3pm. I will be signing and selling not only my new book, Living Today, The Power of Now in print but also the other books that I have written. These books include all five novels of the Locket Saga, Simply Vegetable Gardening, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

My life goes on the same as usual and I will continue with all the writing that I am doing.. However, everything is not life as usual for everyone. People are still cleaning up from Hurricane Harvey and soon the cleanup will begin in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. There are ways that we all can help from praying, sending monitary support and volunteering with the cleanup.

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