To the students of the Los Angeles Unified School District I extend my deepest appreciation for your efforts to "Make a Miracle" for Ethiopian relief. In less than a month you have raised more than $400,000 to provide medical supplies for the treatment of disease and infection suffered by those already victims of a tragic famine and drought. In raising these funds you have also raised hope--hope that the needs of so many millions of people, many of them children, will continue to elicit the concern and generosity of Americans as long as that need continues.
No doubt there were cynics among you who refused to participate in the drive because of concerns about distribution of supplies, logistical difficulties, internal political strife, the sheer enormity of the problems in Ethiopia. To be sure, all of these concerns have frustrated efforts by many relief organizations to deliver the food, clothing, equipment and medical supplies donated by private agencies and governments from all parts of the world. But your enthusiasm, spirit and genuine goodwill are clear demonstrations that cynicism and hopelessness cannot and should not be allowed to prevail. Indeed, despite the very real difficulties encountered in Ethiopia, millions of lives already have been saved. Through your efforts many more will be.
The students of Los Angeles, board member Rita Walters, Superintendent Harry Handler, Dr. Al Clark, principals, teachers, counselors, coaches and parents, your concerted efforts have made a miracle.
My thanks is not purely personal. It is also on behalf of the children of Ethiopia whose faint voices cry out only for food, for medical attention, for rescue from the unrelenting tragedy of famine and drought. They would thank you, I am certain, if they only knew of this exemplary achievement.
H. CANDLER MILLER
Southern California Director
U.S. Committee for UNICEF