A Seventeen Year Old Boy

Cleveland, Ohio
November 10, 1940

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

I am a boy of 17, I quit school 2 years ago in order to find a job. Since my dad died 3 years ago we haven't been able to do so good. We stretched his insurance money so far as it would go, but now we have to face it.
We are behind 2 months in our rent and the 3rd falling due this Wednes¬day, the 13th. We pay $15 a month for 4 rooms. There are 5 of us, mother, 3 boys and myself. I really wouldn't be writing this, but I can't see our¬selves evicted from our house. We've got till Wednesday to get either all or at least a half of our rent paid up. It would be all right if it was only me because I could take care of myself one way or another. My mother can't get work because she just recovered from tuberculosis and must rest. I am afraid that if nothing comes up I will turn to crime as a means of getting financial help.

My little brothers are shoeshiners. They go out at night and shine shoes. They go mostly in beer gardens. Their little money even helps. You might say, why don't we go on relief, well you just can't convince my mother on that. She said she would rather starve than get relief.

I am working as a grocery store clerk at $8.00 a week. We could get along on this in summer but not in winter on account of the coal problem.

I was wondering that maybe you could loan us about $35.00 or more, we could get on our feet again and once again hold up our heads. We will greatly appreciate this second start in life with all our hearts.

Will you please be so kind as to answer this letter in some way. And will you please congratulate your husband for us for winning the election. I read all about how angry Hoover and all the rest were about not letting your husband have a 3rd term. The reason for that is because they weren't even good enough to be re elected for a second term and are angry. We all have faith in our president.

Thanks Ever So Much

V.B.F.

P.S. Please, again I say, try to answer this letter before Wednesday some¬how. I'll be praying every night for your loan. I'll give you $1.00 a month with interest until it is all paid up.

P.S., The reason I marked it peronel is that I was afraid it might be thrown out by your secretaries before you even read it.

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