On Tuesday, among the daily load of letters, packages and sundry mail was a small white envelope with our address written across the front in a geekling's careful scrawl. It was from Simon in Oregon, asking after our GP2X Wiz hand-held game emulator in an adorable classroom note form. We posted it to Twitter and Facebook like this:
We did indeed consider it, but in the time it took us to ponder (we also paused for dinner and sleeping) our Facebook fans rallied together for Simon's gaming cause. Under the leadership of the great and inspiring Dawn Connelly who created a ChipIn page, they gathered the funds in record time!
So on Wednesday morning, we tracked down Simon's mom's account with us and emailed her about the saga that had played out overnight, and we contacted Dawn about the $142 she had raised. We explained that we'd like to send Simon a Wiz, and to use the $142 Dawn had raised towards our $1,000 charity donation for June. The replies speak for themselves.
Dawn thoughtfully wrote back:
I had so much fun yesterday. I kept thinking about one of my all time favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotations; "Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give." I think yesterday was an excellent example of how true that statement is. Not just some kid getting a toy, but seeing how happy it made everyone else to feel like a part of something larger than themselves. I started it as an experiment but learned more about the kindness we all share than I ever thought I would.
You may want some tissues nearby for Simon's mom Sara's reply:
I was amazed beyond words to read your email yesterday afternoon. I started crying when I read it and when I showed my daughter what the tears were for she got teary-eyed too. We were both crying and laughing at the same time while reading all those Facebook posts. What a lovely group of people you all are. Thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts. Simon is going to be thrilled beyond words when he gets his gift in the mail. My husband and I decided to not say anything just yet--to let it be a surprise for him and then we'll show him all the nice things people said about him and explain how so many of you pitched in to do this wonderful thing for him.
I would like to explain a little of where the idea for the letter came from so you and your Thinkgeek customers can rest easy knowing that this truly did come from a little boy who just turned 7 a couple of months ago. My husband is the geek in our family. He is an IT guy and loves all things Star Trek and whatever else you can think of. I am the exact opposite. Most of the time I don't even know what he is talking about when it comes to that stuff, but I like to indulge him in the things he loves for his birthday and whatnot and our boys have taken to loving all things geek as well. They love looking through the catalogue when it comes in the mail and circling the things they would someday like to have, especially Simon.
That is how the Wiz came up a few weeks ago. Simon just finished 1st grade and they were starting to learn about money and so he kept bringing the catalogue to me and asking how much such and such is. He spent days looking through it trying to find something that he could afford himself as he has saved 13 dollars from doing chores and leftover birthday money. He finally came and asked me if he could write a letter to Thinkgeek asking if they could please lower the price down to 13 dollars since that's how much money he had. I told him to go for it, that it never hurts to ask.
It never occurred to me in a million years that it would go this far. My husband and I are amazed at the kindness and generosity that has been extended to Simon and again, we thank you so much. I don't even have the words. Thank you, thank you.
Dawn and Sara say it best. We couldn't be more humbled to be part of such a kind and creative geek community.
Because of Dawn's quick-thinking and generosity of spirit--as well as the time, attention and donations of many caring geeks--Simon is getting his GP2X Wiz. And not for $100, or $20 or even $13. We wish we could be there to see his face when he opens the box to find a letter, the Facebook posts all printed out, a Timmy clone, and the Wiz he was saving for. We'll just have to wait for the photo Sara promised us.
And which charity will receive an extra-special $1,000 donation this month? Because of Simon's adorable letter, and the generosity of Dawn and our Facebook fans that made his wish come true, this month's charity is the Make a Wish Foundation with a total donation of $1,142. That last 42 seems appropriate.
Many geeky, monkey thanks to Dawn Connelly and the named geeks who donated: Richard, Jeffrey, Erika, Christina, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Jennifer, Lori, Kristi, Michael, Sharon, Brenda, Jessica, Peter, Johnny, Mike, and John! You are all wonderful human-type bipeds and if we could hug you all, we would.
The Wiz, our letter, and the Facebook comments have landed! We heard back from Simon's mom Sara and she definitely came through on the photos:
What a face! He wrote in the email:
"Thank you for the wiz itmademe happy.my favorite game is maryd.i read all of the messages. Thank you. It freaked meout. From, Simon"
The last little bit is hilarious--and true, because it is a little weird, right, when the internet pitches in to get you a present? The very best kind of weird, of course.
Sara closed the email with the promise of another note from Simon:
"Thank you again from all of us. A written letter from Simon will follow. He gets a little frustrated typing on the computer. Please let everyone know, especially Dawn, how grateful we are for her act of kindness. This has been so amazing. We are truly grateful."
We'll keep you posted on updates. In the meantime, rest easy knowing that Simon is doing very well in school and will not play video games until after his homework is done. He wanted to send this photo of him and his report card to answer some of the more the concerned commenters:
As promised, we received a letter from Simon today! Our favorite part: "Thank you to all the people. The Wiz is great. I have beat every level on Maryid. I am fames now becuse of you. And I have a 1000 friends! Dawn is the best one!" Agreed.