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Georgia Volunteer Honored With First United Way Stamp

April 28, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A letter from President Reagan - hand-canceled by Postmaster General Preston R. Tisch - was dispatched Tuesday to Mrs. Theodora James of Atlanta to honor her efforts as a community volunteer.

Mrs. James will receive the first letter mailed using the new United Way commemorative stamp, dedicated at special ceremonies marking the 100th year of that community help movement.

″Stamps are a reflection of our national character,″ said Tisch at the dedication ceremonies, attended by several thousand volunteers attending a United Way convention here.

″The dedication of this stamp commends and thanks the many Americans who volunteer their time and talents to help their neighbors in time of need,″ Reagan wrote in his letter to Mrs. James.

The 80-year-old Mrs. James is director of Atlanta’s West End Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center, a cooperative effort by several churches to aid needy families. She helped found the center in the 1970s.

The ceremonies marking issuance of the stamp, with the theme Uniting Communities, also focused attention on youth, honoring several young people who have engaged in leadership of United Way activities in their home towns.

Sara Beth Gopman, 18, of St. Louis, Mo., termed the Washington convention a sort of spring training for the young people. Another of them, Amy Claire Sachs, 17, of Liverpool, N.Y., commented that their goal is to ″shape a better life for others, and a caring tomorrow.″

″When you see a young person, look at their attitude, it belongs to the future,″ added Carlos Romo, 20, of La Habra, Calif.

″Young people of today do care,″ concluded a fourth young leader, Walter Moreau, 19, of Waco, Texas. ″We may be more cynical of volunteer efforts, but it is because we want our efforts to count for something,″ he concluded.

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