updated 02/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST
Thanks for your tsunami cover story. The best donation anyone can give right now is to visit our beautiful land. Only 20 percent of Phuket was affected and we're quickly rebuilding. Our resorts are almost empty and that will do more damage to Thailand than any tsunami. The community is ready to welcome you with unsurpassed warmth and hospitality. Please come.
Just when you think all people have turned to stone, you read in PEOPLE "One Man Takes In 230 Refugees," about the efforts of Indonesian bank president Aminullah Usman, and realize there's hope for us all.
Granite Falls, N.C.
My heart goes out to all who suffered due to the tsunami. I don't believe, however, "A Mother's Agonizing Choice: Which Child to Save" should have been part of your cover story. Jillian Searle's actions were neither heroic nor hopeful. She believes no mother should have to make a choice between which child to save. But this woman chose to save herself and let her 5-year-old son sink or swim. When Searle thought she lost him, she felt guilty. I hope she never forgets that guilt. She's lucky she came out of this with her family intact.
Coos Bay, Ore.
I'm a big fan of celebrities and what they do for charity. However, when I read your Scoop item about Sandra Bullock, who makes millions doing one film, donating only $1 million to the Red Cross for those people affected in Southeast Asia and Steven Spielberg giving only $1.5 million to three relief organizations when he's worth so much money, it makes me ill. It's time for these millionaires to donate more. Oprah to the rescue!
The tsunami disaster was terrible, but if people, including celebrities who have donated services, materials and money, would invest in our poor and homeless population, the U.S. could be a wonderful place to live. The poor are overlooked because we don't want to admit we have a problem. Americans should be our first priority.
Robert Williams Jr.
I was glad you gave the devastation of the tsunami more than just a corner on your cover. Thanks for keeping with the reasons I subscribe by presenting stories in such a personal way.
As a huge fan of American Idol's first season, I was beyond thrilled to see your update article on Season One. We'll be seeing lots of Justin Guarini in 2005, and this Idol fan can't wait!
La Canada, Calif.
I wasn't pleased to read your Idol update on Justin. I can't blame Guarini for distancing himself from the show. It seems that he's forever reminded of his every failure from Idol whether he deserved the blame or not. Nothing is ever said about the charitable work Justin has done or his amazing talent as a singer, actor and dancer. I continue to be a fan and look forward to the day when a positive piece about Justin will appear in your magazine.
MARTHA'S STATE OF GRACE
Now that the sad saga of Martha Stewart's unjustified five months of imprisonment is coming to a close, the only consolation is that her brave decision not to fight incarceration helped not only her corporation and its stockholders but surprisingly her personality. No one likes to have such circumstances contribute to one's learning curve, but Martha has not only endured but proved that she's a great lady by her exhibition of grace under very difficult conditions.
Silver Spring, Md.
I appreciated your dignified farewell to Jerry Orbach. I was amazed reading about his distinguished career. The comments from his former Law & Order partners were so touching and heartfelt. I'm heartbroken that we've lost such a great actor and man, and I truly feel like I've lost a good friend.
Elizabeth Jewell Headden