Second-Place Winning Entry
President Bas Vanderzalm
14150 SW Milton Court
Portland, OR 97224
Dear President Bas Vanderzalm,
A terrible disaster, a simple mistake, a miraculous story, and lives saved. When I visited the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit recently, I was struck by the story about how the Medical Teams International volunteers in New Orleans encountered a family that was getting ready to commit suicide. According to the story, the volunteers saved their lives. I cannot imagine living in such a state of despair that I wanted life to end all together. The story opened my eyes to another person’s life, and one that was saved by the great things you do. The story will stay with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget my utter shock and amazement at the miracle of the “mistake” made by the volunteers. The rest of the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit was equally eye opening, and it made me realize how much is wrong with parts of our world, how much help is needed, and how much I have to be grateful for.
If given the opportunity to donate $100,000 dollars to anybody in need, I would do it in a heartbeat, and Haiti is, what I believe to be, a country that is high on the list of those in need. Especially after their tragic earthquake, Haiti needs help in a vast range of areas. Personally I think that giving as much medical care as needed to their citizens should be top priority in helping the country build itself up to stability again. I would like to donate $100,000 to getting medical care to anyone and everyone in Haiti who needs it. This seems to be the most vital part of recovery because the most important part of a country is its citizens. We could pay billions of dollars to rebuild homes and offices but if not enough attention has been given to providing sufficient medical care, there would be very few healthy citizens to live and thrive in those places. Also, if somebody lives in so much emotional or physical pain, they would not be able to appreciate the new buildings and homes. They would just want to escape the pain, and that’s what $100,000 dollars could help them do.
With my money, I would want to send practiced doctors and counselors to Haiti with all the equipment they might need. Some of the money would go to paying doctors and counselors small amounts for their kind services, but the majority I would wish to be used for setting up the appropriate facilities for treating patients, whether they have emotional trauma, a terrible disease, or a broken arm. I would want professional trauma therapists and doctors easily available to help anyone throughout the whole country. Children, elderly, and adults should all have no problem getting the services that they need.
If I had or ever have anywhere from $1 or $100,000, I want to give it to somebody who bravely leads a life that I cannot even begin to imagine, because that’s what I would want if I were in their shoes. Every person has the right to a comfortable and happy life, but unfortunately, there are so many people who see the things I take for granted as a luxury. When I put myself in the shoes of someone who has lost everything, it makes me want to give anything I can.
Waluga Junior High School, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Teacher: Ms. Kelly Running