For two New Jersey sisters, letter writing is not a lost art. In fact, their recent notes requesting help for their grandparents got an immediate response -- from the President of the United States.
On Thursday, Maggie and Kate Traina, 14 and 11, were excited to learn that Barack Obama would be heading to Staten Island for a Hurricane Sandy recovery tour, according to the New York Daily News. The girls, from Scotch Plains, NJ, quickly drafted letters to request he make a special stop at their grandparents' home, which was destroyed in the storm.
“I hope you can make a difference in Staten Island,” said Maggie’s letter, written on a sheet of lined paper. “My grandma and grandpa’s house was all over the news.” The girl also told the President that in her school's mock election she voted for him. The final vote tally? Romney 216 and Obama 624.
Check out the letter below. Click on the image to see a higher resolution version.
Kate's note, which contained a similar request, took on a more serious tone.
“When I had found out that my grandparents’ house was demolished as a result of the recent hurricane, it felt as if time stopped,” it said. “The realization of what Sandy had done was hard to grasp as I sorted through the remains of part of my childhood.”
Story continues after photo.
Kate Traina with her grandmother, cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy.
The grandparents, Sheila and Dominic Traina, delivered the letters to Obama when he arrived on Cedar Grove Ave. in Staten Island. Immediately, he grabbed pen and jotted down a response.
“Maggie and Kate, Thanks for the letter. I’m going to help!" it said, followed by his signature.
According to the Daily News, the girls squealed with delight when they found out his reaction. They said they never expected the President to answer so quickly.
As for the Traina grandparents, whose future -- like that of many Sandy victims -- now depends largely on their insurance company, the president's visit added a bright spot to that uncertainty.
"I'm just glad he showed up," Dominic Traina told the Staten Island Advance. "He's down to earth. He felt the pain."
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the Trainas' hometown. It is Scotch Plains, New Jersey, not Storm Plains.