Well, it’s Friday night, and I’m full of Good News (no, I haven’t quite been born again…).

It has just been an incredible week for me.

Spirit of America. Damn, I’ve never ridden a rocket before. What a thrill; my friend who is doing the books – who is somewhat of a cynic – commented as she iced her hands from entering all the donations into Quickbooks – “My faith in humanity is restored.”

In case you missed it, Jim Hake set out to raise $100,000 to buy some TV equipment – to let local Iraqi stations air local news. Much of that news is good, but much as the news of gang shootings in Pico-Union creates panic in West Los Angeles, the bad news there tends to drive out the good. Allowing some old-fashioned local news coverage – of rescuers working to save girls stuck in wells, local sports heroes, all the banal stuff that everyday life is so deliciously made up from – offers the chance to remind people that life is not sliding downhill quite the way some might fear.

Well, Jim is aggressive and good, and soon there was a column in the Wall Street Journal, and the next day there was $400,000 in the bank. As of today, the website shows over $1.5 MILLION in contributions – all of which will be used to buy things the Iraqi people need to rebuild their country and their lives.That’s a good thing, because people who are playing soccer or building houses aren’t shooting each other or our troops; most important of all, people who have hope for their future don’t drive cars loaded with explosives into crowds and set them off.

All kinds of doors have been opened – for Spirit of America, by the prominence and potential that this success will unlock. And for me as well. I fell like I am a changed man, just by having watched it happen and having read some of the letters and emails that came in to accompany the donations.

The volunteers delivered the goods (actually, FedEx delivered the goods, but they did it for free, so they’re volunteers as well) – actually, the volunteers presented the goods, and Gerard Van der Leun wrote a powerful – it’s not right to call it a ‘post’, that’s demeaning – short essay about it. Go read that and understand that I feel the same way; I just can’t write about it as well as he does.

Spirit of America isn’t done doing good. It hasn’t even begun. Go over there and donate, or better still, sign up to volunteer. There will be a lot to do.

6 thoughts on “Well, it’s Friday night, and I’m full of Good News (no, I haven’t quite been born again…).”

  1. Well, that is really terrific!

    One wonders if anyone will take up such a quest for the millions of people in the U.S. who have lost jobs; those who don’t have health insurance; those whose children have been left behind; those who don’t have books in school or even enough to eat?

    I wonder? Perhaps the Muslims can give those people some of their zakat billions that are now going for Islamic terrorism?

    Charity begins at home—unless you start a war that costs BILLIONS!

  2. A.L.,

    Looks like there’s some comment clean-up to do–see above.

    On topic: let me be the first in this thread to wholeheartedly congratulate you and Jim Hake. You guys have done truly excellent work, and many people’s lives have been and will continue to be touched by your leadership.

  3. AL creates a post that demonstrates the best of humanity, and in what I can only understand to be karma, lo and behold, the worst of humanity shows up. Balance is maintained.

  4. I agree — people who are playing soccer or building homes don’t blow themselves up along with several dozens of their fellow humans. I would say Iraq is a wonderful place for Habitat for Humanity to start working, as soon as possible. How about it, Pres. Carter? Any plans for Iraq when things calm down some?

  5. Post-troll, you have aptly named yourself. How inane. Not likely that those guys in green camis are US – probably Saddam’s boys – you know, file photos and all that.

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