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Karen Ocamb

A Thank You Card for 7-Year-Old Malcolm

Filed By Karen Ocamb | February 26, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: donation plea, HRC, LGBT, los angeles

Remember that heart-warming story from two weeks ago when we reported how the LA Gay & Lesbian Center received on Monday, Feb. 7 what CEO Lorri Jean described as a "remarkable gift" from a 7 year old stranger?

"What we found in our mailbox has everyone here at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center buzzing.?It was a small envelope that carried two letters and a check for $70. But this is what blew us away: it was from a 7-year-old boy! His name is Malcolm, but we call him our "Littlest Champion." On a note that accompanied the check he wrote: "I am sending you this money because I don't think it's fair that Gay people are not treated equally."

Malcolm's mom also enclosed a note:

"To teach the importance of improving the world around him, Malcolm was given $140 to give away to the charity of his choice. After hearing a story on the radio about the mistreatment of gays and lesbians, Malcolm became both upset and curious about the issue...to help, he chose to split his money between the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation."

On Thursday, the Center put together a Thank You card for Malcolm – a wonderful gesture to remind the “Littlest Champion” that his gift was not just received and forgotten – and, dare I say – a gesture that was once a polite standard.

Center-Malcolm_card-1.jpg Center-Malcolm-card-inside-.jpg

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Very nice story. And very nice card. How much do you suppose it cost to create and print that oversize card? Probably more than the $70 the kid donated.

What message does that send about how we use our hard-fought dollars?

Just my, um, two cents.

How beautiful and amazing is that!. He is so adorable.

I hope someone donated that card...

I was thinking the same thing. But it may be a big chunk of change, but I doubt it's over $70. I can get poster board that size for maybe $10-15. And it looks like maybe the front is actually nine sheets of printer paper (there's a slight white line in the upper middle section just the size of an 8.5x11), bringing the cost to $5 for printing or less if they used their own printer.

Even if they got it printed at a fancy print shop, kinkos does b&w prints that size for $5. I doubt color would be more than $15, perhaps they even have a cheaper option. So we're probably looking at $30 bucks. Maybe $45. I wouldn't want them doing that with each donation, but it's definitely not over the $70.

And if they sent it, postage is probably expensive too.

But half of every donation going into seeking more donations? Par for the course in the non-profit industrial complex.

Anthony Carter | February 26, 2011 3:32 PM


Great job Malcolm.. This makes me hopeful about the future.

For all of you who are nitpicking about the cost of the thank you card, you're forgetting that there is value well beyond the actual dollars and cents.

There is the value of good will, doing the right thing, and positive PR. I'd hate to think that so many people are focused on looking for a dark cloud hovering over a sweet gesture.

I guess it hasn't occured to you that this act of acknowledgement is going to make this family feel very appreciated, and that they are going to continue to make donations, probably over the course of a lifetime. And that other families are going to see how special the center made this little boy feel, and that they, too, are going to donate. And similarly, many of the people who see the articles about this card whose hearts are warmed by it who'll want to make a contribution as well.

Oh, and perhaps the people at the center were genuinely touched by the gift, and wanted to do something special for the boy. Not every thing done by a lare organization is necessarily sinister.

The last line should read "large organization...".

Thank you, Rory, for saying exactly what I wanted to say. Sometimes the dourness and negativity of commentators here is so disheartening. Kindness begets kindness, begets kindness...

For everyone complaining about postage did you consider the possibility that they might have hand delivered the thank you card? Since the kid specifically gave money to the LA Center, it is very possible that he lives in LA.

Just a thought.

OMFG...

The "community" wants to hold the Tea Party, Repugs, Democrats, the President, for all the fucking indifference of society for alllllll our "community" woes... and people are debating about the cost of the card, postage and the "industrial" complex of donations?

Malcolm... take your $70 and get yourself a game-boy at Target.

"And a child shall lead them..."

as crass as it is to discuss the price of the card, even if it costs $300 it would be worth 5 times that in the goodwill it buys for our community. it's marketing my dears.
that aside it's proper, polite, considerate and touching.