January 21, 1986

Dear Jim:

I'm delighted to accept the position of Honorary Chairman of the United Way's centennial in 1987. And, even better news, Nancy is just as delighted to become the Honorary Chairwoman. Both of us have held positions with the United Way in the past, and we're very pleased to do so again.

I was the United Way's national spokesman in 1961. Looking back, I realize this was one of the experiences that caused me to become such a believer in voluntarism. I saw what could be accomplished by people who cared and got involved. Today, we know that government alone is not the answer. It takes the commitment of every American to meet the needs of friends and neighbors in our local communities. The role for voluntarism, for United Way, and for the many other fine human services agencies in this country is as great today as it was 100 years ago.

Because Nancy and I believe so deeply in what the United Way can accomplish, we have a two-part challenge for you as you approach your second century of community service.

We challenge United Way to help this country reassess current community needs and to identify the emerging needs of the future. And we challenge you to build even more coalitions and approaches to meet those needs. We also understand you're now working to double your resources and services to America. We heartily endorse that goal, and we challenge you to see how quickly you can attain it.

Since the United Way's contributions are substantial, it is appropriate that it should accept great challenges to mark the occasion of its 100th anniversary. Nancy and I look forward to hearing of your plans and progress as you strive to achieve these important goals.


Ronald Reagan

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