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Dear Mitt Romney,
I’ve heard you are having money troubles. After all, if the best thing you can think of to do with 10,000 dollars is make a bet with someone on television, then clearly you aren’t getting creative with ways to invest your money. I thought perhaps you could use a little help thinking of things, so I am making a list for you. I’ve stuck with mostly things that could happen in this country (though I have a ton that you could do overseas as well), and I’ve tried to cover a bunch of bases for you, so surely something on my list will appeal to you. Please let me know if you find that any of them move you.
1) Buy textbooks for a school. Any school. I’m not picky. Students are going home to study without books. Students are sharing in classrooms. I cannot begin to guess how many textbooks 10,000 dollars would buy, but I bet it would let some of our youth actually choose not to do their homework, instead of not being able to do it.
2) Pay someone’s medical bills. Thousands of us are uninsured and facing crippling debt just to pay our medical bills. This year, for Christmas, give one of us a break and pay off our bills. Then maybe we can sit down and talk about what healthcare reform platform you are running on.
3) Feed someone. Feed a lot of someones. 10,000 dollars buys a lot of fruit and veggies. Support a food bank. Give a gift to a homeless shelter. Feed some of the children who are living on our streets, starving. Imagine, a huge outdoor feast in central park where all the homeless and starving of NYC could come and have a gigantic Christmas dinner. It would be amazing!
4) Support a church that would otherwise have to close. America loses 3500-4000 churches a year. Now I’m sure that some of this is because of lack of attendance, but some of these churches are closing their doors because they cannot afford to operate. They are small churches in small communities. They are churches that are desperately needed for their after-school care, their support of community faith, their shelters, and their education services. They are needed because communities need churches. Find one and allow them to stay open. I’m pretty sure it’s something Jesus would like.
5) Donate to a women’s shelter. Women are running for their lives in this country. They are hiding from spouses. They are leaving everything they have and living in fear on a daily basis. They are starving in shelters. They are terrified for their children. DO something. Build a shelter. Support the shelters that already exist. Save a woman’s life. Show her that there is an option for a life without fear.
6) Pay the adoption fees for a family desperately longing for a child. There are families desperately hoping to bring their own child home for the holidays. They have been waiting and struggling and praying for a chance to make their families whole. At a time of year that is supposed to be all about family, use that 10,000 to make a family whole for the holidays.
7) Open a no-kill animal shelter. Rescue some of the thousands of animals that are being tortured, beaten, or neglected this holiday season. Our friendship with animals is a gift from G…d and we should cherish it. Instead, we abuse and neglect them, leaving them on the streets to starve. Open a shelter that would allow this to end. 10,000 buys a lot of dog food.
8 ) Promote sex education. Help provide condoms and birth control. If we really want to move beyond the discussion about pro-life or pro-choice, then the way to do this is to create systems in which abortion does not seem like the only option. Perhaps if we could educate our youth, give them the tools they need to be safe, and create support systems for when mistakes do happen, we could create a world in which pro-life truly meant pro-life – instead of being a political term that is thrown around. Pro-life could mean all life, and pro-choice would include options beyond just abortion. See #6. Families are longing for children. Let’s make a world where instead of abortion being the easiest option, adoption is.
9) Rebuild a house. They are everywhere – the houses that people have left, the houses that nature has damaged. People are living in houses with blue tarp roofs because they cannot afford to get them fixed. People are homeless while houses fall into disrepair. Why not put the money you were going to bet to good use and give a family the gift of a house for Christmas? Nothing says love like a roof over your head where there used to be a tarp.
I’m sure that one of the above nine options will move you. I can’t wait to see what you decide to do.
One of the 99%