Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
I read an article in Parade Magazine about a guy named Greg Mortenson, the founder of the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools in very poor areas of Pakistan. I picked up the book about him, Three Cups of Tea, at the library, was quickly engrossed. This is an amazing story. One thing that struck me was that when he was trying to raise funds in the first place, he sent out 580 letters to celebrities and politicians, soliciting help for his project. You'd know their names if I mentioned them (read the book), and out of all those people the only one who got back to him was Tom Brokaw, who sent a check for $100. His mom's schoolkids contributed six times that much in one fundraising campaign.

Ironically, the one man who really committed to the project was a cranky old businessman, who was one of the founders of about a half dozen different semiconductor companies we all know and love today. He sent him a check for $12,000, which was the amount Greg needed to build his first school in Pakistan. Ironic, isn't it, that all of those celebs who preach to us about how we should help out the third world people ignored his letters, while a selfish capitalist came through?

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