Ellen Gaffney Pens Debut Children's Book
Ellen Gaffney didn't always have plans to become a self-published author. Following her involvement with Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM), she was inspired to share the story of Lotus Blossom, the recipient of one of the first FWM wheelchairs. Following years of dedicated work, her children's book was self-published with the help of Three Bean Press in November 2013.
"Wings for a Flower" is a 32-page picture book based on the true story of Lotus Blossom, a young girl living in Chennai, India. Although written as children's literature, the book inspires an audience of all ages. "The stories that emerge from our work here at Free Wheelchair Mission are incredibly powerful. We are excited about and honored by Ellen's labor of love. Her book ensures that the story of Lotus Blossom will be shared with an audience of all ages for many years to come," said Reed Harley, Executive Director of FWM.
Gaffney describes the book's creation as a journey which began when her friend and Founder of FWM, Don Schoendorfer, shared with her the story of Lotus Blossom. Moved by the story, Gaffney resolved to convey the narrative in a children's book. She soon realized she wanted to meet the young woman in order to authentically capture the story. In March 2005, Gaffney traveled to India to participate in a seven-city distribution trip for FWM. During the trip, Gaffney was able to spend time with Lotus Blossom who, with the help of her wheelchair, has been given the confidence to learn to walk very short distances.
Gaffney decided to illustrate the story with collages, and using a variety of papers such as tissue paper, brown paper bags and catalogs, she ardently captured the colors and textures she'd witnessed in India. Her book is available for sale on her website with all proceeds benefitting the gift of mobility through FWM's work. Gaffney, a Pittsburgh, PA native, lives in the Greater Boston Area in the town of Brookline. Last week The Boston Globe published an article on Gaffney and her book. Click here to view The Boston Globe article.
"Wings for a Flower" can be ordered online at www.wingsforaflower.com. All proceeds benefit Free Wheelchair Mission.
About Free Wheelchair Mission: Free Wheelchair Mission is a humanitarian, faith-based 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to "provide the transforming gift of mobility to the impoverished disabled in developing countries, as motivated by Jesus Christ." Wheelchairs are distributed fully-assembled free of charge to recipients and are given regardless of race, gender, religion, or ethnicity. Since 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission has provided over 753,000 specially-made wheelchairs to individuals with disabilities in 91 countries around the world. They provide not only mobility, but share the gifts of dignity, independence and hope. www.freewheelchairmission.org