Thanks very much for sharing this .  It is, indeed, inspirational .

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 7, 2013, at 7:42 PM, Megan Hernandez <mhernan...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> Hi everyone,
>
> Each year that we run the fundraiser, readers write in really lovely notes.
> Please take two minutes to listen to our readers.
>
> Enjoy!
>
>
> The story I like to tell is that whilst I had heard of Wikipedia but only
> looked at it a few times thereafter, when the 2004 Tsunami occurred the day
> after Christmas, mainstream news organisations (TV, newspapers) were all
> away from their offices. That day I turned to Wikipedia to try to
> understand the scale of the event. It was Wiki editors 'on the ground' that
> created the sort of information and coverage usually considered the
> province of rolling news organisations only. This I now dub my 'Wiki
> Epiphany'.
>
>
> Wikipedia is an amazing service. Almost always, I am able to find
> information on subjects I am interested in. Thanks and Kudos to all staff
> and volunteers!!
>
> My world has been opened up time and time again by Wikipedia. From studying
> Detroit and computer programming to finding unbiased information on
> America's history, Wikipedia has been a beacon of free speech and
> information for over ten years. Sometimes, I just sit in awe of the fact
> that the greatest accomplishment of man was assembled mostly by volunteers,
> people who just wanted to make the world a better place.
>
> Its made life easier for me and expanded my knowledge by allowing me to
> more easily find trusted and verified information on the internet. It
> organizes all the noise out there on the web and gives a great concise to
> the point fact summary of what I want to know. Thank you and thank you to
> the millions of volunteer editors. Wikipedia is a necessity in my life and
> not just a luxury.
>
> Wikipedia is a source of unbiased information. The caveats and notes from
> the editors alert to questionable information. The links within the
> articles are amazingly helpful and have led me on wonderful information
> expeditions.
>
> I'd like to thank the entire staff of wikipedia and its editors for my high
> school graduation.
>
> It's impossible to put in words. I cannot imagine Planet Earth without it
> [Wikipedia]. It has changed my life forever.
>
> My 17 year old son uses you constantly. You have made him a smarter human
> being.
>
> You guys are ^^%$#&* unbelievably awesome, keep it up!
>
> web sites like Wikipedia are invaluable and I felt it my duty to try help
> even if only a tad.
>
> so much of the Internet has turned into self serving and unreliable junque;
> so I am very, very grateful for the Wiki resource.
>
> I regard "W" as the best and most reliable source of information available
> anywhere. I don't know how you do it so please keep on with your Excellence
> }i{ < That;s a butterfly for you
> This is one of the best things on the internet. It goes back to the
> original development of the internet and has remained ethical and true to
> its origins. There appears to be no discrimination and it is available to
> everyone at no cost.
>
> I am 60 years old and I am still so cruious and interested in so many
> things. Wikipedia gives me reasonable information whenever I may want it.
>
>
> I use wikipedia all the time and credit it more toward my education than
> college did!
>
>
> It's nice to see humanity get together without any external forces for a
> common good!
>
>
> I am inspired by the high quality of Wikipedia and the high ideals of its
> founder and its myriad contributors and editors. What a magnificent
> collaborative human achievement you are building!
>
>
> It has simultaneously answered and given me more questions than I can
> comprehend.
> This represents to me what college should be like. Free and collective
> knowledge by and for all.
>
> When I want to know something, I google it and 99% of the time Wikipedia
> has what I want to know. Even drinking arguments, about what Biff from Back
> to the Future is doing now, are solved by Wikipedia. It's all there.
>
> Without Wikipedia I would be about 30% less intelligent. :(
>
> it is like a gift from the gods of knowledge
>
> I am a teacher and a writer, and I am amazed how often Wikipedia is useful
> to me. I consider Wikipedia to be one of the great democratic projects
> maybe ever, and it is one of the reasons why I try to stay optimistic about
> the world. Thank you.
>
> I honestly feel like the next generation of humans in general, will be much
> smarter than the previous because of this site. Well, at least they will
> know a whole lot more useless shit. I've heard (don't know for sure if it's
> true, doesn't matter) that the bigger a person's brain is, typically, the
> smarter that person is. So, if that is true, I think it's likely that
> because of this site, in about 50 years, humans will have huge heads. Their
> heads will look like the aliens' heads did in "attack from mars." If y'all
> ever get into commercials for whatever reason, you could use that and
> probably make it really funny :)
>
> It's like that reliable family member or friend who's an expert at
> something or the other.
>
> I extend my heartfelt thanks to the men and women who tirelessly work on
> keeping Wikipedia the wonderful website it is.
>
> There's nothing you can't find on Wikipedia, I'd be shattered if it was
> shut down.
>
> As a computing and communications engineer I imagined an information
> resource like Wikipedia before the Internet existed. I'm happy I didn't
> have to be the one to build it.
>
> My 72 year old life is easier and more fun. I read a lot and look things up
> all the time, and that is now easy. That itself is fun.
>
> It gives me hope and makes me feel connected to an invisible but powerful
> community. And it settles lots of arguments before they get out of hand at
> the dinner table!!!
>
> My Dad's addicted to Wikipedia. Seriously. I can't think of a single day
> I've seen him not go on here at least once. The man craves knowledge, and
> one blue link leads to another. Soon enough, he has dozens of tabs open
> leading to a million different things. As I hear quite often, I am my
> father's daughter. I was in third period US History today reading the page
> on Dmitri Kabalevsky during our homework time. I came on here right now to
> make sure it would be okay to refer to France as Gallia in the book I'm
> attempting to write. I come on here so many times a day, you wouldn't even
> believe. I absolutely love the system you all work so hard to run, and I
> hope Wikipedia stays online and banner free for dozens of years to come!
> You have my full support. :)
>
> 100 years ago they said we would have flying cars, instead we got smart
> phones with access to almost every book ever written, fair trade.
>
> When i was a kid, I used to watch 'Star Trek". When Captain Kirk had a
> question asked Mr. Spock and the computer with female voice. Wikipedia is a
> combination of Mr. Spock and Computer.
>
> It was my constant savior through the pitch-black hell that was high school
> and has guided me through college and into my career as a nurse.
>
> I have lived in the world without Wikipedia but it was darkish all the time
> and I never want to live in our world without it again.
>
> Wikipedia is like a playground for me. I love you for what you do.
>
> It is easy to find reliable or at least semi-reliable information on just
> about any person, place, or thing that exists. Even if it's something as
> stupid as "white chocolate". The reason I was on wikipedia this evening.
> Thank you.
>
> "Look it up" is what our dad always told us when we asked a question, even
> if he knew the answer. Back then we ran to the encyclopedia or dictionary;
> now it's Wikipedia. Different but the same. And beyond Wikipedia's being a
> tool to learn something, it makes me happy to know there are smarties out
> there, collaborating in this vital, fluid, living system, spreading
> knowledge. Thank you!
>
>
> I remember researching in the days of microfiche & card catalogs! This is
> like having the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, the OED, and so much more
> at your fingertips!
> I just truly enjoy getting the succinct and straight info without a lot of
> bullshit.
>
>
> I passed my university degree, settled numerous arguments, checked sports
> stats, researched my great grandfather and just today found out the
> probable origin of sheep farming! The list goes on... and on…
>
> was one of those kids who read the encyclopedia for fun, so Wikipedia took
> that to the next level.
>
> Wikipedia is what the internet can be.
>
>
> I use Wikipedia to live my life.
>
> I, as an ordinary citizen, am able to learn and access information in a way
> that would make preeminent scholars of 3000-odd years fall to their knees
> and weep with joy and shock.
>
>
>
> --
>
> Megan Hernandez
>
> Director of Online Fundraising
> Wikimedia Foundation
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