OCTOBER 21, 1944
NEW YORK, Friday—I did find time yesterday, in Buffalo, to go to the factory where only handicapped people are employed. It is still not established financially and its founders need some help; but I believe that eventually it can pay for itself, because of the devotion of every individual working there.
The venture was started by Harold McMahon, who put his savings into it. He himself walks around on crutches, yet he goes up and down stairs in the most rapid manner you have ever seen. As you go in, you see a watch repairman at work in a little office by himself. Upstairs you see the toymakers, all of whom belong to the toymakers guild, hard at work. The toys are wooden toys, but they take skill to create, and they are perfect. They are sold through two wholesale outlets and can be bought at many places in the bigger shops.
Every one of the 34 individuals either is holding a job for the first time, or has been taken off the relief rolls since going to work. In addition, all have improved physically! I think Buffalo is going to have the honor of starting something which may take a great many people off the city's welfare rolls, as well as create an amount of happiness which some of us who have never faced a handicap will find it hard to grasp. If any of you go through Buffalo and should happen to feel rather low, just drop in at 496 Pearl Street. You will find it quite a tonic for your morale.
A group of young high school people came to see me before the dinner in Rochester. Among their questions was one asking what I thought young people themselves could contribute toward the elimination of juvenile delinquency. If we could allow them to do so, I imagine they could contribute more than we ordinarily think is possible. It might be very helpful if, when the heads of organizations meet, they invited the heads of student government groups and the editors of student magazines to meet with them and give their point of view on some of the questions which are under discussion.
Today I am attending a luncheon organized by Mrs. Henry Goddard Leach for the Democratic National Committee, and this afternoon I am going to an exhibition of paintings, sculpture and photographs at the Vanderbilt Gallery, 215 West 57th Street. This exhibition, a "Tribute to President Roosevelt," is sponsored by the artists committee of the Independent Voters' Committee of the Arts and Sciences for Roosevelt, and will continue for several weeks.