Given lead time, Obama will remember birthdays


POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2009

Question: Can you help? I want my dad, who will soon be 103, to receive a letter of congratulations from the president of the United States.

Answer: As long as your father is a U.S. citizen, he should be able to receive a birthday greeting from President Barack Obama.

In fact, any American citizen celebrating at least an 80th birthday is eligible to get a card from the White House, as are couples celebrating at least 50 years of marriage.

The White House says a limited number of other special occasions, such as weddings (send request after the ceremony), baby's birth, Eagle Scout award/Girl Scout Gold Award, Bar/Bat Mitzvah or “;equivalent occasion,”; also will generate “;appropriate recognition”; from the White House Greetings Office.

All this for free.

Just send a written request to The White House, Attn: Greetings Office, Washington, DC 20502-0039.

E-mail requests are not accepted.

According to the guidelines:

» The greetings will be sent only to U.S. citizens.

» You must send your request at least six weeks in advance of the event. Greetings generally are not sent if the event has passed, except for weddings or births.

» You should include the following information: name and home address of honoree(s); form of address (Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Miss, etc.); exact date of occasion (month, day, year); age (birthdays) or number of years of marriage; the requester's name and daytime phone number; any specific mailing instructions if other than to the honoree's address; wedding (include couple's married names and current or new address); baby's birth (include date of birth and full names and address of the baby and parents).

Greetings will be mailed about 10 days prior to the event. See usgovinfo.about.com/blgreetings.htm for more information.

Who gets $250?

After someone asked who to call to find out about her $250 economic stimulus payment (”;Kokua Line,”; June 10), a lot of people started calling the Social Security Administration's customer services number—(800) 772-1213.

We were asked to clarify that this $250 “;economic recovery payment”; is not simply “;for people who don't work,”; as the questioner phrased it.

It is targeted for those 55 million or so people who are receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits, as well as Veterans Affairs and railroad beneficiaries, said Jane Burigsay, Hawaii region spokeswoman for the Social Security Administration.

Individuals who were not eligible for the above benefits in November and December 2008 and January 2009 do not qualify for the one-time payment.

To receive a payment, the beneficiary's address must be within the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa or the Northern Mariana Islands.

Go to ssa.gov/payment.


To the wonderful person who found my black purse and my bus pass Wednesday afternoon, June 3, near Kuhio and Seaside avenues and turned them in to the Honolulu Police Department. I cannot begin to express my appreciation.—Patricia

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).