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Dear Reading Is Fundamental

Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 93042
Des Moines, IA 50393

January 20, 2011

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.
Development Department
1255 23rd Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037

Dear RIF,

When I was a kid I loved when RIF came to my school and let us pick out a free book or two. I was always suspicious, since my mother always told me you can’t get something for nothing, but as far as I can tell, 35 years on there still hasn’t been a catch, so I guess she was wrong this time!

I thought it would be cool to donate some cash so some other kid out there could get a book for free. I was going to calculate how many books I’d received over the years, how much those would have cost, then adjusted for inflation, and include a donation of that amount, but frankly I’m not that good at math, I probably don’t have that kind of money, and if I did give you that much then my mother would be correct in that I didn’t get something for nothing.

It may be lame, but I am including $5 with this letter. It was all I had on me besides some change. I’ll see what I can scrape up next year. Until then, be happy to count me as one of your success stories, because as I am sure you can see I am mostly litterate!


Christopher L. Jorgensen

This site in book form. Buy it now!


1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037-1125
Toll free 877.RIF.READ

Reading Is

January 31, 2011

Mr. Christopher L. Jorgensen
PO Box 93042
Des Moines, IA 50393

Dear Christopher,

Welcome to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and thank you for your support of children’s literacy. Your recent contribution of $5 will help us provide at-risk children with the books and literacy resources they need to develop a love of reading.

In 1966, when RIF began, we provided books to children at a few schools in Washington, D.C.  Thanks to supporters like you, we have grown into a national organization that annually reaches 4 million children with 15 million books in every state, Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories.

Your gift to RIF truly changes lives.  Rebecca, a RIF coordinator who works with disabled children in Florida, shared this with us:

“RIF works. Kids get that something that’s lasting—from the book, the memories, the life lessons.  RIF helps them realize their potential.”

We greatly appreciate your gift during these difficult economic times.  And the children who receive RIF books are especially grateful.  A RIF book opens up their imaginations and helps them discover the joy of reading.

By choosing to support RIF, you have made an investment in the future of children in Iowa and across America.  RIF is working hard to make sure all children have books to call their own.  I have included a RIF State Profile so that you can learn more about RIF’s work in Iowa.

If you have any questions about your gift or would like to learn more about our work, please contact me at (202) 536-3469 or at

Thank you again for your support and Happy Reading!



Shane Yost
Manager, Individual Giving

P.S. To welcome you to RIF, in addition to the State Profile, I have included a RIF decal so you can show your support of children’s literacy to the world everyday!  Thank you, again!

This letter acknowledges a voluntary contribution to Reading is Fundamental, Inc. (52-0976257). No goods or services were provided in exchange for this contribution.

Discover the Joy!

Scan of the letter from Reading is Fundamental


I get a kick out of making small donations to charity. I would probably give even more if I weren’t so far in debt! (Damn student loans, damn credit cards, damn mortgage, damn website.) I just wish the typical response was better. I’ve given to the Lollipop Theater (a great charity that brings first run movies to hospitalized kids), Big Cat Rescue (which does not bring sick kids to lions), Exotic Feline Rescue (response not yet posted), the Red Cross (again, not yet posted), The Charles Macnider Museum (they have Bil Baird puppets and kickass artwork), a handful of politicians (I count these as charity) and The Pope.

If I had more money to give I would. That’s where you come in! You have money, I need money. Send me some.

By Christopher L. Jorgensen


Have a comment? Put a stamp on an envelope and drop it in the mail to:

Christopher L. Jorgensen
PO Box 546
Ames, IA 50010

Be sure to mention what letter your comment applies to. Adding some cash with your correspondence is a good thing. You can email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you must.

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