Franklin D. Roosevelt photo

Letter to the Red Cross Requesting Aid for Chinese Civilians.

January 17, 1938

My dear Admiral Grayson:

There is, I am confident, a widespread desire on the part of our citizens in every section of the country to contribute to a fund to aid in meeting the extreme distress of millions of civilian people in China. I feel that our people are deeply sympathetic with those in need in this situation and will wish by their voluntary contributions to take some larger part in aiding in this humanitarian task in which the peoples of many countries are participating. The need of the Chinese is evidenced by the fact that when the International Red Cross Committee made inquiry of both the Japanese and Chinese Red Cross Societies the Japanese Society replied that their resources were adequate to deal with their situation and the Chinese stated that they very much needed outside assistance.

In order to give effect to this desire to aid the people of China it is necessary that some organization be designated to supervise the collection and distribution of the funds and for such a task we naturally turn to the Red Cross.

I should like to request, therefore, that the Red Cross take such steps as it may deem appropriate to afford the American people an opportunity to respond by their contributions to the need of our suffering fellow-beings and I trust that their response will result in a good-will offering of as much as perhaps one million dollars. In response to such an appeal I urge that all our citizens give promptly and generously.

Very sincerely yours,

Rear Admiral Cary T. Grayson,

American Red Cross,

Washington, D.C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the Red Cross Requesting Aid for Chinese Civilians. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208970

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