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Dear Friend of National Geographic,

As I gather with family and friends this holiday season, I watch my young son absorb the excitement and joys of this time of year. And I realize the bold choices that we all must make in the coming months for the sake of my son and all of our children.

Much as we worked to land on the moon in my childhood, we need to work to solve energy issues in my son's time. Just as Sir Edmund Hillary conquered Everest more than five decades ago, we need to conquer climate change today. Like past explorers sought out new routes to navigate the seas, we need to seek out new global economic solutions.

Exploration, conservation, and scientific research are at the very core of nearly every problem that people have solved and nearly every new discovery that has moved humankind forward. These are also the core of all of National Geographic's work around the world.

This is why I am asking you to make a special year-end gift to National Geographic today to help find solutions to the biggest challenges facing us all.

You will be taking a bold step forward in these challenging times and affirming your belief that investing in today's explorers and problem solvers will provide dividends that will mean everything to our children's future.

I hope by now that you have had a chance to read the year-end report that came to your mailbox. It highlights the archeological work of NG Fellow Fred Hiebert in Afghanistan that provided the exquisite objects for the Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan exhibit, as well as Beverly and Dereck Joubert's conservation work on behalf of the magnificent endangered Masaai Lions in Kenya. It also provides an update on other projects and expeditions that your support made possible this year. It is so uplifting to see all that we can accomplish together.

I hope I can count on your support once again so that can continue to seek solutions to our planet's biggest challenges in 2009. Please make your tax-deductible gift through our secure online servers today.

In the coming year we are planning to expand our work to protect marine ecosystems. We are launching an expedition to the south Line Islands in the Pacific to better understand how climate change is affecting marine life. We also plan to expand the work of the Genographic Project, which is providing tremendously important information about humankind's ancient movements on our planet. This is all in addition to our critical geography education efforts. Needless to say, more than ever all our children need a strong understanding of the cultures and natural features of the planet we share.

But we cannot do any of this work without your financial support. I hope even in these challenging economic times, you will invest in our future and our children's future by supporting the special mission work of National Geographic today.

Throughout our history, when people have made bold investments in solid scientific research, exploration and conservation we have come out of difficult times even stronger than before.

Thank you in advance for your bold leadership. I wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season.

Nancy Rehman
Vice President, Development
P.S. Please make a bold choice today and support National Geographic's exploration, scientific research, and conservation programs. Your tax-deductible gift will really make a difference in our ability to resolve the challenges of climate change, energy security, and the global economy for ourselves and our children.

If you didn't receive your copy of the 2008 year-end report, please contact me at givinginfo@ngs.org and I will be happy to send you a copy by email. Thank you.
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