Jen's comments in orange.
Adam's comments in purple.

November 18, 1999

Dear (I'm not sure exactly what to put for the salutation), (To Whom it May Concern??  Dear Sir or Madam?  I'm just throwing suggestions out here ... )(To Whom it May Concern sounds good)

I am a student in a freshman honors English class at Clemson University. My class is currently working on a community service project that focuses on giving a voice to those who have been denied one because of their unfortunate economic condition. I know that you have dedicated much of your life to this same endeavor; I have nothing but respect for your heart of service (perhaps make the sentence more smooth by replacing the "; I" with "and"??).  Now my English class is attempting to take that task to a new level.  With the tool of the Internet, I believe that we can provide those people who are less fortunate with an avenue to express themselves both (<delete with "both", or "as well as" (my suggestiong is delete "both")>) in a literary sense as well as a web page format. (try something else for "web page format" or something like "...express themselves both through the standard means of media and modern technological methods.)

We are now in the process of building a web site that would serve that exact purpose.  In order to view a rough draft of the web page, you may visit it at http://www.nutball.com/beheard. As you will hopefully see, my class is genuinely interested in giving those who do not have the economic resources to express themselves in any other way a chance to do so through public library terminals that contain Internet connections that will allow them to get feedback on their poetry and prose (this is a long sentence that seems a little awkward ... maybe rewording the last part of it ... ?  not sure how) (I agree... something must be changed) Other advantages include being able to construct their own free websites as well as to establish their own free email accounts in order to have an avenue for two way communication with people that they meet through their web experience.

I hope that you will thoughtfully consider how mutually beneficial this type of work would be for your organization as well as our class project, but more than anything, I hope that it will be beneficial to those who desperately need to be heard.  There can be no replacement for a personal one-to-one contact with someone who cares for you.  There is also no replacement, however, for the knowledge that you have created something all by yourself, accomplished something great, or expressed yourself in a new way.  It is this sense of accomplishment that we are striving to instill through our web site.  We seek to show each person who visits our website that he or she can accomplish just as much as anyone else can on the Internet, even with limited resources. (I like this paragraph a lot!! :)  )(we could maybe use this paragraph as a mission statement on our project site)

There are three major ways that you can help me in this endeavor.  The first would be to respond to this email and give me advice on what my class is doing.  Will it really work?  What problems will we encounter?  The second way that you can help me is to recommend our site to the various people that you come into contact with throughout your daily work.

The third and final way that you can give me a hand is by keeping in contact with me through the coming months.  (is a new paragraph necessary?) Next semester's English class will be attempting a similar project to ours. (maybe "further our project")  They will offer an organization such as yours help in any way that is practical and that you see is fit.  Such tasks could include building web pages or responding to and critiquing any literary work that comes out of your place of work.  (good idea to include next semester's class!)(good idea to state our value to them)

I understand that you are a very busy person and that the volume of e-mails that you get on a daily basis is rather large, however, as we are limited by the time left in the semester, it would be helpful if you can respond as soon as you have time.

Thank you very much for your time and efforts.

Sincerely,

Joel Simoneau,
writing on behalf of the Honors 102 English Class at Clemson University

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