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New graduate’s email to his college’s fundraising department

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 dollar.

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

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