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for the Blind

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Letter to Calvin Coolidge from Helen Keller (October 17, 1929)

Transcription of Letter

93 Seminole Avenue,
Forest Hills,
Oct. 17th, 1929.

Hon. Calvin Coolidge,
Northampton, Mass.

Dear Mr. Coolidge,

I learned from the "New York Times" this morning that you are working on the disposal of a philanthropic fund. I cannot resist the temptation to remind you that there are still thousands of blind people unassisted in the United States. The American Foundation for the Blind, of which you are Honorary President, is still endeavouring (sic) to raise an endowment fund of two million dollars which will enable it to carry out its nation-wide plans for rehabilitating the sightless. I have tried in every imaginable way to complete this fund, and I have succeeded in raising only about seven hundred thousand dollars after four years of hard work.

If a part of the fund left by Mr. Hubert can be given to the American Foundation, I beg of you to use your influence towards that end. I need not tell you, such a gift would confer a great blessing upon those who must live always in darkness and silence. Your kind interest in my labors is among the pleasantest memories of my journeyings in behalf of the blind. The manner in which one ray of light, one precious deed of service will brighten and energize the inner life of the one who receives it is one of the most wonderful and beautiful phenomena of the spirit.

It made me very happy when Mrs. Coolidge so quickly raised the fund for the Clark School. I wanted to write and tell her how pleased I was, but I crushed the impulse, knowing what a weariness letters are to people who serve the public. I can imagine how grateful you both are for the peace and quiet of Northampton.

With every good wish, and with deed regard, I am (sic)

Sincerely yours,

Helen Keller.

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