MAY 18, 1945
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Henry Kaiser, who heads the United National Clothing Collection drive, released a very significant plea on May 10. He explained that our success in Europe meant that people who had been held in bondage by the Nazis would be returning to their homes, many of them having only rags and tatters of clothing worn during their four or five-year period of enslavement. Most of them have done hard labor during this period, so it is easy to see that all we can possibly send will not be enough, and we will have to keep on sending for a long time to come.
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Figures were also released covering the states which have sent in clothing. Every state, including Alaska and the District of Columbia, has contributed, but it is interesting to note the comparison between population and poundage received. For instance, New Jersey, with a population of 4,460,165, has sent in 4,739,771 pounds. New York, with a population of 13,479,142, has sent in 6,504,186 pounds. Alabama, with a population of 2,832,961, has sent in 282,290 pounds. Alaska, with a population of 72,524, has sent in 82,500 pounds.
An analysis of the reasons for the differences between population and pounds would be very interesting to have. I cannot help wondering whether it is an indication of the variation of organization in different places, or whether it shows the condition of the people and their ability to give away clothing.
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In the last few days I have finally heard from our two sons in the Navy, who are out in the Pacific. They wrote, both of them, immediately upon receiving my message last month, but they have been so steadily on operations that it has not been possible to send out mail for two or three weeks. I hope that the other families whose boys are on these same ships, or in the same divisions, have now heard also from their boys. I know how hard it is when weeks go by without news of any kind.
Many kind people wrote me on V-E Day and on Mother's Day, and I want to thank them in this general way for their friendly thoughts. Others who have written me during the last few weeks have been contacting some of my friends because their letters, which required replies, have not been answered. The simple truth is that we have some thousands of letters still that came during the weeks after my husband's death, and we are able to read through only a few hundred a day. It will take a long while before we are able to keep up with the mail as it comes in day by day.