Letter to Kids
By Joe Lee
How are you? First of all, I would like to congratulate all of you for making it into college, to become a freshman and to begin a new chapter in your life.
In the past years, I often grieved while reading the letters you sent. I have never replied to your letters, but it was not because I did not care; it was because I have so much I would like to share, but didn’t know where to begin. This feeling may be better described by the title of a popular song named, “Love You More Than I Can Say.” It may sound a little cheesy, but it reflects how I feel. However, I have decided to write a letter to you now, because I would like to express my sincere “Thank You and I Love You” message to all of you. I will also explain why I never wrote before.
I could never control my tears whenever I read your letters. This time was no exception. Regardless of whether I was reading your biographies, or reading your thank-you letters, I often broke down sobbing. As described in your biographies, the suffering and the helplessness that you had to endure because of poverty were unbearable to me. I wished I could yell out loud to release the pain in my heart. I wished that I could help all the children and their families in need, or at least a few more of them.
There is a famous movie titled “Schindler’s List.” In the movie, there is a German merchant who spent a lot of money to bribe the captains of Jewish concentration camps in World War II. During these years, this merchant purchased more than 1,100 Jewish refuges to work for him nominally as slaves. As a result, these Jewish people were able to escape from being murdered in gas chambers. After Germany lost the war, this German merchant was accused as a war criminal because his official business was to provide supplies to the German military. The night before this merchant was taken away, he cried and told everyone that he wished he could have saved more Jewish people. Knowing that he saved 1,100 lives didn’t make him happy. Instead, he felt that he did too little for these unfortunate people. Your thank-you letters brought tremendous joy to me. I am excited for your new lives and great futures. At the same time, you reminded me that I had done so little in the past and that I need to do more. Thank you for the reminder; I really appreciate it.
Please don’t say, “… We don’t know each other …” in your letters again. The truth is that we certainly had connections in our past lives. Although I do not know how we were connected in our past lives, and we never met face-to-face in this life, but my tears for you are real. Our meeting in this life started at the moment you wrote your biographies, and our connection grew deeper from these first encounters. The development of any event in this world is beyond a person's control, but the fact that we have met one another through the letters is real and special. Our lives reconnected when you reached out to me. I feel that we finally found our long-lost families. I want to thank you for this.
Finally, I like to invite you to express our sincere appreciations to your parents (to your relatives and all the people who helped you) and to the volunteers to the PEACH Foundation. I don’t need to emphasize the sacrifices your parents made for you, but the PEACH volunteers are like parents to you all too. They are the parents of this big family called PEACH, and they are the ones who bring love and care to you, and it is they who raise the money to support you.
I don’t know your day-to-day activities, but I imagine this new phase in your life undoubtedly will present a new set of challenges. Some challenges may even be insurmountable. I want you to always stay strong and tenacious. In time, you will be able to support your family and give back to the society.
I wish you all happiness. If you have time, I welcome more letters from you.