Tom, age 23, gave me permission to post this letter to Grinnell College (amongst the richest of private colleges in the United States, and a place he loves), sent from his digs in Beijing.
My dear Ms. Roberts,
I fully intend on supporting Grinnell once I’m old and wrinkly and have silver dollars spilling out of my top hat onto my diamond-tipped cane and be-spatted wingtips, but being presently skint, jobless, and my saving getting bled dry by Fannie Mae I’m unable to. Is there a way to get off this mailing list without drawing the ink-black wrath of the Grinnell gods? I’d like to send my kids there someday, in the brightest of a spectrum of dark futures.
But I somehow suspect that getting persons like myself to donate is less about the money, than the mission, or some such ma-lark. In which case, I might donate a similar amount as I donated to the senior challenge imps, when they assaulted me outside the dining hall so many long and dusty days ago.
One drop, a drop of startlingly clear legal tenderness, from my heart to yours. As a symbol of much largesse to come, I assure you.
By the way, I suggest you insure the envelope, to protect the meticulously embossed forms Grinnell is always so kind to send. $20 should be enough, and is probably quite affordable.
T. Christensen, Beijing, PRC 9 September 2009