Dear Bob Votruba,
I just met you at the Publix parking lot in Vero Beach, Fl. I had a US Air force front auto tag you commented on. I gave $5.00 even though I had $32.00 in my wallet at the time. As soon as I drove away I felt both elation that there is someone like you who is so selfish and dedicated in helping abused children, yet depressed at having not emptied my wallet for those same children. Having experienced bullying as a child myself by both contemporaries and family members and living with the damaged self esteem and memories of those horrible years, I wish to make another donation in the memory of a person who committed suicide not as a child but as an adult. Children of abuse grow up to be adults with those memories that never leave their conscious minds as it has never left mine. I am a combination of an abused child and a gay person who was educated by schools of the time that I was sick and mentally ill. I can remember my own Mother, God rest her soul, make the same statement at seeing an obviously Gay man walking across the street in front of our car while driving though the streets of downtown Baltimore, Md. I was a child of 8 years old at the time.
I have to admit on the drive home after handing you that $5.00 bill I cried my eyes out as the pain from those years suddenly erupted in my memories. I walked into my home and read your handout letter, RIDING 9,000 MILES FOR KIDS, and the tears once again flowed not only from my mind, but also from deep within my heart. If only there was someone such as yourself available all those years ago to say to me, “a much better life will come to you”. I survived all the moments when suicidal thoughts entered my mind and I pray God your heroism will help save other children from those same thoughts.
Please e-mail an address to me to mail a donation as my way of saying Thank you so very much and may God Bless you for your efforts on behalf of all the children who’s lives you now save, and for those who didn’t have a hero stand up for them and awaken the hearts and minds of America and the World to these tragedies that could have been avoided by simple acts of love and compassion such as yours.
I wish I could find ways of doing more to assist you in this effort. I pledge to honor the four statements in your letter:
I will comfort those hurting.
I will help those being hurt.
I will help you realize your importance in this world.
You are needed and you are loved!!
Once again, God Bless and Thank You from the heart of one who knows and understands the magnitude of your efforts,