Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ronald Reagan Writes Letter to 7th Grader With Messy Bedroom

Ronald Reagan

Pol Light Moment #84 occurred on May 11, 1984, when Ronald Reagan sent a letter to a 7th Grader named Andy Smith who had a messy room and had written the President to ask him to provide funds to clean up his room since his mother had declared it a disaster area. Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, serving from 1981-1989.

Andy Smith, a seventh grader in 1984, had written to Ronald Reagan saying, "Today my mother declared my bedroom a disaster area. I would like to request federal funds to hire a crew to clean up my room (Letters of Note)."

Ronald Reagan responded back to Andy Smith's note with this letter.

Andy Smith
Irmo, South Carolina 
May 11, 1984 

Dear Andy,

I'm sorry to be so late in answering your letter but as you know I've been in China and found your letter here upon my return. 

Your application for disaster relief has been duly noted but I must point out one technical problem: the authority declaring the disaster is supposed to make the request. In this case your mother. 

However setting that aside I'll have to point out the larger problem of available funds. This has been a year of disasters, 539 hurricanes as of May 4th and several more since, numerous floods, forest fires, drought in Texas and a number of earthquakes. What I'm getting at is that funds are dangerously low.

May I make a suggestion? This administration, believing that government has done many things that could better be done by volunteers at the local level, has sponsored a Private Sector Initiative program, calling upon people to practice voluntarism in the solving of a number of local problems. 

Your situation appears to be a natural. I'm sure your mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster. Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with the more than 3,000 already underway in our nation—congratulations. 

Give my best regards to your mother. 


Ronald Reagan 

(Source: Reagan: A Life in Letters, 2004)

This letter above by Ronald Reagan was also featured on the Letters of Note website on June 19, 2012.

Ronald Reagan has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Ronald Reagan posts search with the Ronald Reagan label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photo: The photo of Ronald Reagan is in the Public Domain.

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