Ronald Reagan’s letter to a little girl attempting to raise money for the homeless is being sold for $20,000. In 1986 an 11-year-old girl, identified only as Lisa, sent a letter to the leader of the free world to get help with a good cause. The President of the United States responded with both a few encouraging words and a check for $50.
The Ronald Reagan letter details the little girl’s request for the president to sponsor her during a 7-mile walk-a-thon for the homeless.
The letter from President Reagan to little Lisa reads:
“Dear Lisa, I am very proud to sponsor you in the walkathon. Thank you for asking. I know you’ll walk the seven miles and the enclosed is to help the cause you are serving. God bless you. Ronald Reagan.”
Lisa did not give the $50 check from Ronald Reagan to the homeless fundraising event organizers, her parents opted to cover the donation with cash and keep the letter for posterity. The 1986 homeless walk-a-thon was hosted by the San Fernando Board of Realtors.
Vice president Nathan Raab of The Raab Collection, a historical documents dealership, said the check was written from Ronald Reagan’s personal account with the Bank of America. Raab called the letter to the 11-year-old girl a “rare personal keepsake” from the 40th United States President.
Raab also had this to say about the Reagan letter:
“The piece is a great rarity and also evocative of Reagan the man and Reagan the president. The little-known episode in Reagan’s life shows the kind of man he was and is a testament to his character. He cared enough that when he received a letter and a request from a young child, the president devoted not only his valuable time as president, but also his personal funds to her. You almost never see letters of presidents to children.”
A search of public records and private outlets have not revealed another personal check signed directly by President Reagan, according to Raab. During the time period the check was written, the president was being criticized or reducing funds for domestic social programs and had been accused of being “indifferent” towards the homeless.
The same day the letter and check were written, President Reagan was in Los Angeles visiting with friends and taking care of errands, according to records at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library.
A journal entry by Ronald Reagan for the same date reads:
“Into L.A. for our few days of seeing friends, etc. We left the house at 10:40 a.m. and arrived at the suite at 11:45. Coming down the coast in a helicopter I watched for landmarks I remembered and was a little upset when I could locate them & then couldn’t remember their names, Topanga Canyon for example. After lunch a haircut and manicure, both overdue. Then George Scharfenberger one of the trustees of our blind trust & a lawyer came by, mainly to talk about our wills in view of the change in inheritance taxes. My 1981 tax change eliminated such tax on surviving spouses.”
What do you think about the Ronald Reagan letter to the 11-year-old girl?
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