Every now and again, I get an e-mail from a reader that just makes me take a pause from the daily news rush and smile. I got one of those the other day from someone I’d never heard from before.

Here’s what she wrote:

Though I’m sure there is a less busy staffer to whom I could have directed this short note, I very much want to share my thoughts with you as they reflect upon all of the hardworking members of your news team. I’ve visited the Voice everyday since I first discovered your site after reading the NY Times article on your organization last November. I can’t thank you and your team enough for sharing honest, insightful, and timely news. I’ve been disillusioned and disgusted with the media for years and your site has given me hope and a feeling of empowerment that we as a people can make our collective voices be heard. While meager at best, my husband and I will be contributing a donation to your efforts to show our support and thanks.

With gratitude,

Michelle Laxton

First of all, thank you Michelle. It’s the occasional e-mail like this that pushes us to stay the extra hour at night or get up the extra hour early during a busy week.

The e-mail really shows how much farther voiceofsandiego.org has to go. Here’s Michelle, now a huge fan of ours, who didn’t know we even existed until November. She missed nearly four years of our investigations, analyses and in-depth reporting and still wouldn’t have known about us had The New York Times not popped into our offices late last year.

The fact is, there is a sizeable group of people out there in San Diego who still haven’t heard about voicefsandiego.org. We’ve grown slowly and gotten the word out without expensive marketing campaigns through grassroots efforts and by the best way around — writing good stories that people send around to their friends and colleagues. We’re extremely happy with where we’ve gotten in the last four years, but we understand we’ve got a job ahead of us: To keep doing the kind of meaningful, change-inducing stories that we’ve been doing so far — and way more.

And we need your help to do that. We know these are hard times, so if things are too tight, we understand. But if you have the room in your budget for a donation, please consider giving to us. (Click here to learn about the different ways you can contribute or go directly here to make your donation.) After all, even $35 helps us and that’s what you pay for just a couple of months of your newspaper subscription. On the other hand, if you scrape together $1,000 or more, think about how many stories and investigations you are making possible.

We’re writing stories every day that bring you closer to your community, that expose wrongdoing and that work to better the things you care about — schools, neighborhoods, the environment, and the economy.

Help us strengthen what we’ve already built over the last four years, and make sure we continue finding news-hungry San Diegans who haven’t yet heard of voiceofsandiego.org.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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