presidential greeting

Friends and family of true blue POTUS fans will be thrilled to know that The White House will send your loved one a greeting card, signed by the President of the United States himself, to commemorate special events, accomplishments or milestones.

Imagine the thrill of receiving a congratulatory birthday, anniversary or wedding card signed by President Barack Obama! For the American who finds inspiration and pride in the nation’s 44th President, a congratulatory note bearing his signature is the stuff of dreams – and one terrific gift.

Of course there are guidelines for eligibility, and receiving a signed greeting can take several months or longer after the request is initiated. The President is, after all, a busy guy. Patience (and planning ahead) is definitely a virtue. Remember, the White House sends Presidential greetings to U.S. citizens only.

Worthy occasions include:

  • Birthdays, only for citizens turning 80 or older, or veterans turning 70 or older.
  • Anniversaries, for couples who are celebrating a 50th, 60th, 70th or later wedding anniversary.

Other Greetings: A limited number of special occasions other than birthdays and anniversaries qualify for recognition, and the White House will send congratulatory recognition to a limited number of U.S. citizens celebrating important life events such as:

  • Weddings;
  • Baby’s birth or adoption of a child;
  • Retirement after at least 30 years on the same job;
  • Eagle Scout Award recipients;
  • Girl Scout Gold Award recipients;
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah or equivalent religious occasion celebrants.

Here’s the thing: the Obama White House Greetings Office is swamped, so the usual requirement to send in requests at least six weeks in advance of your event date really means three months in advance; even then, while they promise to do their very best to get your loved one’s greeting out to arrive in time for cake and balloons, it might not make it in time.

Although the White House Greetings Office simply can’t guarantee any arrival dates at all, they do promise that approved greeting cards will get there…eventually. With this in mind, a thoughtful citizen/friend or family member will send in their request way early, which will alleviate the pressure on the President to hurry up and sign it (he is a very busy man, remember, but he really wants to sign your card too).

Plus you’ll improve your chances of having it in plenty of time for the party.

Most greetings are not sent out after the event date has passed, although there are exceptions including wedding congratulations and newborn acknowledgments.

OK, now that you have established your loved one’s eligibility and are ready to send in your request way in advance, here are seven information requirements, most of which you must include in your request:

  • The name and home address of honoree(s).
  • The honoree(s) form of address (Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Miss, etc.).
  • The exact date of the occasion (month, day, year).
  • Their age (for birthday greetings) or number of years of marriage (for anniversary greetings).
  • Your (the requestor’s) name and daytime phone number.
  • Any specific mailing instructions if other than to the honoree’s address.
  • For congratulatory wedding greetings, include couple’s married names, and their current or new address.

Submit your requests for a signed greeting from the President through the office of a U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative from your state. Requests can also be mailed in to: White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500. Remember, the rule of thumb is at least six weeks in advance, but we recommend at least 10-12 weeks in advance.

And if you were smart enough to hold on to your fax machine even though everyone else says they have been relegated to the has-been landfill of electronic dinosaurs, you can fax your request to 202-456-2461for faster service. Like you, the White House has so far refused to shed its fax machine!

Imagine how thrilled your loved one will be to receive their own special, signed greeting from President Obama. By making this once-in-a-lifetime greeting happen for your favorite POTUS fan, you can take your place as King or Queen of awesome gift givers. Win-win!