-- The Cambodian Landmine Relief Fund --
Hey Ben, I'm a long-time reader of your site, and until now I've never felt compelled to write a piece of fan mail in my life.
That changed today when I clicked on your site and saw that you had chosen Aki Ra as Badass of the Week. I was totally shocked -- not because you chose him, but rather because I had been drafting an e-mail to send to you to try and convince you to write an article about him at the beginning of October.
By writing about Aki Ra, you've drawn a lot of attention toward a serious problem that we're facing over here in Cambodia. I'm a 24-year-old American NGO volunteer worker that's been fighting to improve access to education over here, and so often people ignore the fact that this country exists -- Cambodia is often shoved into the backs of peoples' minds. You've helped to bring Cambodia back into public awareness. Sometimes it feels like we're fighting a losing battle -- every day when I'm walking down the street in Siem Reap, I pass children who are missing limbs because they've accidentally stepped on land mines. They have a very small chance at having a successful future, but Aki Ra has given many of them hope and a chance at a better life, as well as preventing untold hundreds of children from suffering the same fate.
By recognizing him, you've done so much more than just acknowledging one of the most badass people who has ever lived -- you've called attention to one of the most worthy causes in Cambodia. I want you to know that you've very likely single-handedly connected a huge amount of people (and therefore their donations) to Aki Ra's land mine clearance program, and will therefore be indirectly responsible for saving dozens of lives and preventing hundreds of injuries by helping to raise awareness for and therefore fund his programs.
Ben, seriously, thank you. I know that because of this article there will be a at least a few more children that will be able to walk on two legs, and I can breathe a little bit easier knowing that the kids we're working to provide education to will be safer because of you.
I just wanted to let you know that you've lifted my spirits considerably by writing this, and your site has helped me laugh here where things get bad. Thanks again, and I'll be going to visit Aki Ra on Monday to bring him a copy of your article -- I'm sure he'll love it.
P.S. I want to buy a copy of your book and there's no chance of it ever actually making it over here, so make sure it gets popular enough to get pirated in the markets. I'm holding you personally responsible if it doesn't.
P.P.S. If you want to check out what my NGO does over here, make sure to visit http://www.pepyride.org/ -- several of us in the office are big fans of yours, so it would be super cool if you checked out what we do =)
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