Thanks a Million

Do you need money? Write a letter to Mr. Percy Ross. Maybe he will give you some money.

Mr. Ross is a rich man, and he likes to give people money. How does he give people money? People write letters to Mr. Ross. In their letters, they tell him why they need money. Mr. Ross gets 12,000 letters a week. He and his 12 assistants read all of the letters. Then Mr. Ross sends money to some of the people.

Every week Mr. Ross chooses three or four interesting letters and answers them in his newspaper column. The column is called "Thanks a Million." It is in 350 U.S. newspapers.

Who gets money from Mr. Ross? Mr. Ross usually sends money to old people, sick people, and poor children. A mother wrote Mr. Ross, "I have two daughters, ages one and eight. I give the baby one bottle of milk every day. I want to give her two bottles of milk every day, but I don't have enough money. I also want to give my older daughter ice cream sometimes. Can you help me?" Mr. Ross sent the woman a check. "This check will buy much more than milk and ice cream," he wrote.

Sometimes Mr. Ross doesn't send people money. He sends people the things they need — shoes, a smoke alarm, a hearing aid, new pots and pans, or a sewing machine.

Who doesn't get money from Mr. Ross? Mr. Ross usually doesn't send money to young, healthy people. A 16-year-old boy wrote, "I need $900 to buy a good used car. I really need it because I like a girl. She doesn't like me because I don't have a car." Mr. Ross wrote the boy, "You don't need a car. You need a different girlfriend."

Why does Percy Ross give people money? When Mr. Ross was a boy, he was very poor. He worked hard, and now he is a successful businessman. But Mr. Ross remembers when he was poor. He wants to help poor people. And Mr. Ross is getting older. He wants to give all of his money away before he dies. He says, "Who will get my money? I want to decide."

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