JUNE 20, 1945
NEW YORK, Tuesday—On Friday I came to New York City to do several things that I had promised to do some time ago. Among other things, I paid a visit to Unity House in Pennsylvania. This is a vacation place for the members of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. I went to see the camp, but primarily to talk in the Pike County bond campaign for the Seventh War Fund drive. It was a most interesting day; and like all the other activities undertaken by this group, the camp is well planned and gives an opportunity for healthful recreation under excellent conditions at minimum cost.
Today I went out to Orange, New Jersey, to lunch with my cousin, Mrs. Henry Parish, on her birthday, and this evening I hope I will be home again, looking forward to a long and peaceful time in the country, for the city does not appeal to me at this season of the year.
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I was happy to receive a report from Dan West, the other day, which many of you have doubtless seen in the papers. The United National Clothing Collection, under Henry J. Kaiser, has evidently done remarkably well. The report has come in from 7,200 local chairmen and committees that 150,303,965 pounds of clothing were collected up to the night of June 13. This means that millions of citizens in every walk of life gave some of their clothing, and that tens of thousands of volunteers collected, sorted and packed the garments as they came in.
The only reward which will come to any of those who have given so much in material and in time is the knowledge that millions of war victims will be clothed during the coming months. It has been emphasized right along that the shipping of this material depends, of course, on the general allocation of priorities. Food and necessary farm implements and other equipment may have to go first; but before the winter I hope that in all of the liberated countries of Europe these garments will be saving men and women and children from great suffering.
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Having clothes to wear will mean a resumption of normal activities which will mean much to the general good of these countries. A child, for instance, cannot attend school without proper clothing. A man cannot go to work unless he has the right kind of clothing to wear, nor can a woman resume any of the normal duties of her life unless she feels that her clothing fits her needs.
This has been an entirely voluntary gesture on the part of the people of the United States. I think their generosity should be recognized and praised by all of us, for it is hard to visualize the needs of others when you yourself are not in want.