My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Wednesday—A man who is very much interested in creating new opportunities for veterans wrote me of a rather interesting idea which he has developed. He says that in almost every large community, and at main intersections in small communities, a man might obtain the use of parking space and a phone booth. The type of vehicle which could be used for delivering packages and messages is very inexpensive and can be produced in moderate quantities for as little as $145.38, he says. In almost any community, he believes, a good business can be worked up by consolidating the delivery of messages and packages for the neighborhood stores and for individuals.

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I think that for small businesses and individuals one might even add to this service a wrapping service. People who live in apartments have very little space for keeping boxes, wrapping paper and twine. In New York City I know that a consolidated delivery service exists but all deliveries were curtailed during the war to save gasoline, while messenger service was merged or cut. People were willing to wait for deliveries and to wait in sending their letters or messages far longer than would be convenient in peace time.

Probably the big stores will resume more frequent deliveries, as gasoline is more plentiful, and messenger service may also be increased. Therefore, in the big cities where such consolidations have taken place there might not be an opening for new small delivery services. Undoubtedly, however, in small towns and even in villages this might be made a very great convenience and be built up into a varied and well paying service, if the person running it was ingenious enough to watch for the needs of the community and offered new services as he discovered those needs.

Of course, this whole idea might be made more feasible if some big group would sponsor it, furnish the delivery vehicles and arrange for franchises to cover parking space and telephone service. But I think the individual would still have great play for personal development and personal ingenuity. It seems to me the idea is worthwhile consideration by veterans, particularly those who are not able to do very heavy work.

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I am told that one great bar to the employment of handicapped veterans, or any handicapped people, is a certain reluctance of many employers, particularly those who employ a small number. They dislike to assume the risk of engaging those whom they fear may be more easily injured on the job and become more seriously disabled because of their previous disability—which means longer and heavier payments of state workmen's compensation.

Whether anything can be done by the Federal government to lessen this risk for employees and, therefore, make it easier for handicapped veterans to get jobs, is a question which should be taken up by the Veterans' Bureau and the Congressional committees.

E. R.

TMs, AERP, FDRL