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How online community generosity helped the tale of a little owl take flight

In just 66 days, The Tale of the Little Owl, a book telling a story to help children think through bereavement has gone from being an idea to a reality. Author and pastor Richard Littledale explains …

In just 66 days, The Tale of the Little Owl, a book telling a story to help children think through bereavement has gone from being an idea to a reality. Author and pastor Richard Littledale explains …

"This is a story. In fact, it is the story of a story. It might even be the story of a story of a story. The story begins almost 10 years ago, when the charity Momentum was founded. Momentum cares for children with cancer and life-limiting conditions. It embraces the needs of the whole family, bringing light into the darkest places, and caring just when it is needed most.

"Early on in the charity’s life, a family with a poorly child was staying at one of the log cabins owned by Momentum on the edge of the New Forest. Outside, an owl was nesting in a tree – and the child declared 'that owl is watching over me'. Thus Mo the owl, the charity’s mascot, was born.
 
"In the last week of September I wrote a story all about Mo the owl. It is a story of love, loss and friendship, designed to help children think through bereavement.

" When I went live with the The Tale of the Little Owl the following week, I was bowled over by the kindness I received. Within 12 hours, two illustrators, in different parts of the country, had offered to work together on illustrating the story – all for nothing. A third artist then stepped in, and has added a beautiful cover design.

"Radio 1 Presenter Sara Cox then added her skills – writing a lovely foreword for this little book. A local book designer, Annette, who lives near to my church (Teddington Baptist) then spent many hours completing the design work. Finally Mark, a youth-worker in Darlington in the process of setting up a publishing house, printed 750 copies as a gift.
 
"Thanks to this remarkable collaboration, the story is now on sale for £3 per copy. It will raise much needed funds for the charity.

"There is another aspect to it as well. Every time a child is diagnosed with an illness and referred to Momentum, they are given an overnight bag by the charity with all sorts of things inside for a hospital stay. They include a teddy bear owl … and will now include a copy of this story too.
 
"God tells us to use our gifts for His Glory, and it has been a privilege to do so."

You can order The Tale of the Little Owl from the Momentum website and in due course from www.amazon.co.uk

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