OCTOBER 20, 1936
HYDE PARK—What do you think came to me in the mail this morning? An invitation from the Republican National Committee to subscribe to their campaign fund! It was addressed to me as Miss Anna Eleanor Roosevelt 66 East 80th Street, New York City, which is the address of The Todhunter School. I am still connected with this school and I suppose the mill which sends out these appeals could not be expected to realize that Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in New York is one and the same as Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington!
All headquarters make these little mistakes which add to the gaiety of nations! I was particularly interested to receive this, however, because it has such startling heading, a quotation from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "That this nation [...] shall not perish from the earth." The inference of course, is that there is a possibility that the nation will perish if one of the candidates in the present campaign is elected!
Now I wish I could convince myself of this fact, it would make it so much more interesting but the most I can feel is that we may have more difficult times if one man is elected than if another man is elected. After all we have not perished from the earth through many other periods of stress and change.
I feel that I should explain a little more carefully the plan which Mrs. Arthur Terry carried out in appealing for old spectacles for I find there is confusion on several points. She tells me that any one bringing her a letter of introduction from an organized charity or from a social worker is interviewed by her, given a card to one of the leading eye hospitals where they receive a free examination by a specialist and new lenses made to their prescription are put into the shell frames which she is able to provide from those sent to her. The old lenses are sold and all metal, gold, silver, etc., is sent to a smelter and the money derived from these sources is used to pay for new lenses which are bought at the hospital price from the best opticians. Mrs. Terry has no subscribers, no overhead, and no assistants and has carried on this work in her neighborhood since 1933.
It is evident, of course, that she can not help people except those near enough to come to her individually. She tells me that people far away are writing to her hoping to get glasses which is course would be valueless to them if they were not fitted to their eyes.
This same piece of work which when safeguarded in the way she has safeguarded it, seems to me might be helpful to many people, and could easily be carried on in different localities. It is with this idea in mind that I tell the story of Mrs. Terry and her work more in detail.