SEPTEMBER 24, 1946
HYDE PARK, Monday—I have such an accumulation of things about which people have asked me to write that I am going to tell you about several of them today, even though they have no relation to each other.
I find in my mail an appeal for maternity clothes. Most of the relief agencies are asking for them, since there is a great lack of warm clothing of this type in all the devastated countries. Some of the shops in New York City which specialize in maternity clothes have constituted themselves as collection agencies where these clothes, if you have any, can be deposited. From there they will be distributed to the various relief agencies.
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The Girl Scouts and the Camp Fire Girls are the two main organizations working with girls in this country on leisure-time activities. Word is sent to me that a membership march is being conducted by the Camp Fire Girls. This organization takes in girls from 7 to 18 years old. And in many places where there are no Girl Scout groups, there are Camp Fire Girls.
The work which these two organizations do is very similar, and both are very helpful in any community. I have always hoped that the two would merge, since I feel it would make for less overhead and more efficient planning, but this still seems to be in the future.
It certainly is necessary that leisure-time activities be planned for young girls in every community. There are very excellent people working on the program of the Camp Fire Girls and their work should be encouraged, because character building cannot be confined only to school hours. And what can be done in the home can be vastly aided if there is planned recreation and constructive occupation for leisure hours.
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From October 6th to 12th, we will observe a week to be known as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." Public Law 176, passed by the 79th Congress, established the observance of this week. Last year, the U.S. Employment Service, because of the ceremonies and the public interest aroused, succeeded in placing 13,439 handicapped people. And it was estimated that private agencies placed at least as many more.
There is now established the Inter-Agency Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, composed of representatives of Federal agencies, as well as the Cooperating Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped, composed of leaders of industry and labor, veterans, women, and representatives of various farm, religious, educational, civic, fraternal, scientific and professional groups.
More than 3,000 cities have planned ceremonies to emphasize the need for employing as many handicapped people as possible. This public interest is vitally important to our wounded veterans, but the number of other handicapped people in many communities far outnumbers the veterans. We have 28,000,000 handicapped citizens, I am told, so it is hoped that the observance of this week will increase employment opportunities for them.