CROSSVILLE, Tenn. - An East Tennessee boy received the surprise of a lifetime when he received a letter from President Donald Trump.
9-year-old Eli'sha Davies from Crossville wrote to the President in January after the inauguration. Eli'sha heard his parents talking about Trump's campaign promise to only accept a salary of $1, and he wanted to make sure the President had enough to pay the bills at the White House.
"I thought how is he going to eat or drink," Eli'sha said. "Or you know pay, if he needs to pay his water bill or anything."
Eli'sha included three $1 bills in his letter to the President. It was a hefty sum of money he had worked to save.
Eli'sha's mom Melissa said he always wants to give to others, so it was no surprise he wanted to help President Trump.
"My first impression was like, 'You're going to give your money away again,' cause he's been trying to save it up for a mandolin," Melissa said. "But at the same time, I was like, I don't want to discourage his generosity, and I think it's sweet."
They mailed off the letter, and forgot about it for nine months. Then a large envelope came in the mail Monday addressed to Eli'sha.
President Trump sent Eli'sha a letter with a message specifically for him, a picture of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and Eli'sha's three dollars.
"He sent it back so I guess he didn't need it after all," Eli'sha said.
In the letter, President Trump told Eli'sha to look for ways to make a difference in his community with the money. He also told him to "Think big and dream even bigger!"
"It was very simple, to the point, but at the same time, just coming from the president makes it, I don't know, just wonderful," Melissa said.
Eli'sha is taking the message to heart and thinking about how he will spend his regained wealth.
"I think I'm going to save it," he said.
Melissa said she never imagined that President Trump would respond to the letter, but she hopes it inspires Eli'sha to continue giving to others.
"Elisha has a big heart," she said. "He's very conscientious and empathetic. I just hope that never changes."
Federal law does mandate the President will receive a $400,000 annual salary. President Trump donated his first-quarter salary to the National Park Service.