Southampton billionaire Derwood Hodgegrass delivered some special holiday joy to kids around the world this Christmas and the thank-you letters have already begun pouring in, according to Hodgegrass staffers.
“This year, Mr. Hodgegrass decided to focus on giving to those kids who really have nothing, in some of the world’s most insular, underdeveloped and impoverished nations,” explained Howard Sneed, Hodgegrass’s longtime friend and constant companion. “He delivered brand new game consoles, hundreds of dollars worth of Best Buy and Toys R Us gift cards, Apple TV and Roku units, Amazon Prime subscriptions, unlimited eBook vouchers, the complete Star Wars saga and the collected films of John Hughes on Blu-ray—it was awesome,” Sneed continued, adding, “I mean, these were like The Gods Must Be Crazy kind of people, like the guys in war paint who would totally marvel at a glass Coke bottle and then use it to hammer grain and [stuff]—legit native types.”
With the help of a translator, supplied by Hodgegrass, Sneed shared dozens of letters from lucky kids in countries such as Ethiopia, Liberia and Lao, poor areas such as Kunar Province in Afghanistan, rural Indian regions such as Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, and specific tribes, such as the Dani people of Papua New Guinea and the Yanomami in South America’s rainforest.
We share three of our favorites below.
Dear Derwood Hodgegrass,
What is this stuff?
Wimayuk Wandik from the Dani people of the Baliem Valley, Papua New Guinea (Age 12)
Dear Great Spirit of the Sky,
Thank you for the good tidings you deliver to me and my people, with whom I share all things. The dark box that reflects the sun has brought us great joy. My father used a rock to open its carapace and we found many treasures inside. The boards of seeds and jewels have yielded much jewelry. The circles that reflect like water are clearly born of sacred magic and we wear them proudly, and use them to see our visages and reflect the sun. The small shingles you call cards are quite strong against the rains, but we would require many more to protect our home.
M’Deme from the Caro of Jinka, Ethiopia (Age 8)
P.S. A little food would have been nice.
Thank you for the lovely gifts. We have no phones and no electricity. We have no food and our water is more akin to malaria soup. This “gift” card is not very palatable or delicious. Perhaps if I yell the card’s numbers at the sky, another airplane full of rich white people will deliver something from the Toys R Us website? My father will make the 250-mile journey on foot, with no shoes, and take these items to a place where people might actually be able to use them. If he survives, and my family survives during his long absence, I will tell you what he sold or traded them for. I look forward to next time you have this holiday you call Christmas. Maybe then you will bring some of that food we hear so much about in America.
Sunil Pathgthka of Chhattisgarh, India (Age 10)