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Thank You Letters

Tips for Writing a Formal Thank You

Sending a thank you letter to a Member of Congress or their staff members is an important follow-up opportunity and a great way to reinforce your meeting and establishes a relationship for future requests. Your message should repeat your "ask," confirm any verbal commitments that were made to you in the meeting and clarify any information that you were unsure about.

A hand-written letter is a nice gesture, but remember that with tightened security measures, your letter will go through screening for a few weeks before it can be delivered. It is usually best to send any hand-written letter to your representative at their in-state office.

Email is a perfectly acceptable way to send your thank you. In most meetings, you likely received a business card from the staff member hosting the meeting. The mailing address and email address should be on the card provided to you. If you do not have his or her email address, most email addresses follow a common pattern.

For the House of Representatives: firstname(dot)lastname@mail(dot)house(dot)gov example: jane.doe@mail.house.gov

For the Senate: firstname(underscore)lastname@Senator's lastname(dot)senate(dot)gov example: jane_doe@reid.senate.gov

Remember that many offices are quite busy while in session and you may not receive a response right away. With continued contact to your office, you establish a relationship which will allow you to reach out to your Congressional members and will make you a source of information and advice.

When writing your letter, remember to include the following:

• First thank the Senator, Representative and/or staff for meeting with you on June 25th to discuss raising mesothelioma awareness and supporting legislation to ban asbestos and provide research funding to develop effective treatments for mesothelioma patients.

• Remind him or her of your personal connection with them. For example "Your interest in 'personal mesothelioma info' and the challenges our family faces speaks to your leadership and commitment to protect and serve your constituency."

• Note that there are many others who face similar situations due to asbestos exposure. Include a reminder that this is a national disaster extending from the millions affected by occupational exposure to family members, by-standers, consumers of thousands of every-day products, and residents and users of homes, offices and schools built with asbestos-containing products.

• You want to be sure to restate your "ask" and thanks for their support. For example, "I am grateful for your support of the most comprehensive asbestos ban and financial support for life-saving research." Reminding them what you asked for as well as what they agreed to support reinforces their commitment. If they did not show support during your meeting, it is important for you to ask again and state the significance of your request.

• To close, thank them once more for their time and courtesy. Let them know that their efforts ensure that mesothelioma suffering and loss will not pass to future generations. Inform them that you will be available to answer any questions they have and that you are a valuable source to provide information about this disease.

Be sure to sign your thank you letter with your name and address to help ensure their ability to contact you.

If you need further information to follow-up on unanswered questions, please visit the links on the Meet with your Government Officials page. You will find general asbestos and meso facts as well as state specific statistics.