One small favor from this disastrous recession: slightly fewer reporters are mindlessly scribbling down the phrase, "jobs Americans won't do." More than 400 NumbersUSA members wrote to me personally after my fundraising email on Monday. About 275 of them told me they are unemployed. Another 100 reported that their retirement income is so small that they cannot donate.
Many of those writing me are making ends meet in unusual ways. In fact, you wouldn't believe all the jobs that they used to do and would very much like to do again. Former factory workers, former construction workers, even a cotton picker, wrote me. They are all active, faxing and phoning members of NumbersUSA. Some have taken jobs that younger people really ought to be doing. Listen to Pat's story:
Pat's email says so many things that I'd like to underscore.
I do everything I can - faxes when you give me the chance, phone calls too - (isn't it a shame our representatives can't afford 800 numbers to their offices so that ALL their constituents can call with their thoughts and moral support? I've written them about THAT, too.)
I DO appreciate your disclaimer regarding 'ability to pay'. We are retired and our life savings were wiped out on my medical bills (even though we have insurance). At age 67 my husband delivers pizzas 3 nights a week - and by the third night, he is just dragging. If you will keep giving me the opportunity to fax I will. I call whenever I can (luckily I have a cell phone - which allows me to call as I couldn't afford the long distance bills if I had to pay each call).
I appreciate the wonderful work this organization is doing and am so glad you have offered a way for me to get so personally involved, even though I have no spare money to send you. (I was emailing and calling before I ever found your site. The ability to fax is a great addition for me.) Keep the faxes coming and I'll keep sending them on - nearly always with my own personal comments rather than the standard text. (I'm maybe a little more militant in my wordage and that makes me feel a little better when I can get my thoughts off my chest).
Again, keep up the great work and thank you for letting me be involved. You have come upon a great system that encourages and allows many more to be involved.
~Pat N, of Texas
- This 67 year-old American's husband is willing to work as a pizza delivery man, even though common sense says younger people would be better able to do that job. Americans are just like any other industrious people. When they have to put food on the table, any job is better than no job.
- Pat got my message that we only want donations from people who are able to pay. If you're on a small fixed income, or unemployed, or sick, or otherwise unable, let other people bear the burden.
- It's refreshing for me to read hundreds of letters from members who, like Pat, are so grateful to NumbersUSA for allowing them to fax Congress even though they cannot contribute. "Pat, you're welcome!" You really need to thank the many thousands of NumbersUSA members who can and do pick up the faxing tab for those who cannot help.
Pat, thanks for contacting me. Thanks for using our faxing system to amplify your voice. Thanks for making the calls that make a huge impact. Thanks for working hard and keeping your head up. I say to you, Pat, what I tell so many-- "Keep the faith, and never give up!"
JIM ROBB is Vice President, Operations for NumbersUSA
Updated: Thu, Jul 2nd 2009 @ 3:46pm EDT