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.