After two years I should no longer be surprised by i readers, but despite being very familiar with your views through the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox and occasionally through i reader parties and random chance encounters, you do have the capacity to amaze.
The £172,000+ you have donated towards the i/Independent/Unicef appeal in aid of African child soldiers is one such occasion. What an astonishing amount in a recession, at a time when you are cash-strapped and were thinking of Christmas and beyond, and for a cause that at first sight is tangential to most of your lives. But you responded with extraordinary generosity to the weeks of features edited by Paul Vallely and others featuring Unicef workers, former child soldiers and our owner Evgeny Lebedev reporting back on the horrific threat to childhood enforced soldiering represents to so many African young.
Most of your donations came in directly to the appeal, with the remainder coming via various lots in our Christmas auction – the artwork from Tracey Emin proving particularly attractive, ditto David Beckham’s signed shirt.
Reader Kathy Moyse paid a not inconsiderable few hundred pounds to win lunch with yours truly at The Ivy which, if it’s anything like last year’s reader lunch experience, will be highly enjoyable – for me at least.
As we have said repeatedly, a little money goes a long way, so £172k will make a real difference. With a pause to reflect on the outstanding work of Unicef in this field all year round, thank you for your generosity.