My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Friday—There is one county in New Jersey—Monmouth—which I think does an exceptionally good job through its social services, and this is largely due to an outstanding citizen. Mrs. Lewis Thompson has had a hand in all the welfare organizations of the state, but as she lives in Monmouth County, that county's organization for social service reflects her interest and personality.

She cares about people and this interest at home has taken her to her state capitol and to Washington, D.C. The servicemen of New Jersey can be grateful for the programs which she has helped to inaugurate for them. Mrs. Thompson, of course, could not do her work alone and she has had splendid cooperation. But she gives inspiration and energy and courage such as few citizens give to the welfare work of their communities.

Now the Monmouth County organization for social service is raising a fund for the erection of the Geraldine L. Thompson Building. This will be their headquarters, and its very name will inspire those who work in it to better citizenship.

* * *

In this county, they are never satisfied with the work they are doing, they always want to make it better and to increase the services which they render. In addition to the social service organization's present activities, they are planning for night clinics to treat tuberculosis and venereal disease, and to do mental hygiene work. This will be a real service to wage earners who, unless acutely ill, cannot get away to attend day clinics. They even hope to do things for the two diseases which are responsible for the greatest number of deaths today—heart trouble and cancer.

This county is setting a good example. One of the things it brings home to us is that there must be some individual who furnishes the driving power and gets other people to feel concern for the well-being of the whole community.

* * *

Brooklyn has also started a new program. There, the Tuberculosis and Health Association and the Red Cross are pioneering together in a course of instruction for tuberculosis patients in the Kings County Hospital. The patients are taught proper diet and the best and quickest way to prepare their food, since many of them can't spend a great deal of time on household work.

The course is conducted by Mrs. Jessie Jacobson of the Brooklyn Red Cross nutrition department staff, at the request of Mrs. Louise Heinze, the Brooklyn Tuberculosis and Health Association's rehabilitation supervisor at the hospital. Not long ago, 18 patients received the Red Cross nutrition certificate.

The same sort of thing might well be done in hospitals all over the country. I mention both of these programs because they may serve as suggestions for improving other communities throughout our nation.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL