DECEMBER 24, 1943
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday, in New York City, I went to present one of the "househould kits" at the Russian War Relief Office. I found a Christmas party for the children going on, with a real Santa Claus and snow maidens who, I understand, accompany Santa Claus in Russia. They offered to dress me up as a snow maiden, but I decided that, since the extent of my activity was the bringing of one household kit, I could do that in my ordinary clothes.
These household kits contain what the Red Cross considers the essential things which a family returning to a devastated home must have. Free transportation for these kits has been arranged to the USSR through the Soviet shipping authorities. It is hoped that many families in this country will sends kits of this kind to a family in Russia as a sign of the gratitude we feel for having been spared the fate of these unfortunate people.
I returned to Washington this morning and the day has gone according to schedule so far. I started out with much mail accumulated during my few days away. Eleven o'clock found us over in the Executive Office shaking hands with the members of the staff. This is always a Christmas Eve affair, but most of the things which we usually do on Christmas Eve have been moved up a day, so as to allow us to go up to Hyde Park.
I have had another suggestion sent in to help out with the juvenile delinquency problem, and it seems to me rather a good one. In Buffalo, N.Y., mothers and daughters are starting "T.A.C.'s," which means "Teen Age Clubs." The organization is only three months old and started with eight members in Mrs. Edward F. Freitas' home as a Junior Red Cross project. They now have three hundred members.
The young people are organized on a military basis and have full charge of their own activities and management. They elect their own members to the house committee, formulate and enforce rules of conduct and penalize disobedient members. They plan eventually for a recreation center, similar to a grownup club, where youth can meet for such social activities as dances.
They will serve light refreshments, but no liquor. It will be youth's own club, open every afternoon and evening. If this has been done by one mother and her young married daughter in one locality, it surely can be duplicated in many others.