My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Monday—On Sunday the Washington Post marked the anniversary of Eugene Meyer's fifteen years with that newspaper. They published a most interesting summary of pictures and material covering the years 1933 to 1948 and as Mr. Meyer looks back he must feel a pride in the paper and in his work in connection with it.

Increasingly of late, Mrs. Meyer has made a contribution not only in public service to which Mr. Meyer is dedicated, but also to the newspaper field and its opportunities for public service. I want to join in a word of congratulation to Mr. Meyer and Mrs. Meyer, as well as to the Washington Post on this anniversary.

* * *

Not long ago you may remember my telling you of two women in California, who came to see me suggesting that when this country took in displaced people there should be an organization in every community throughout the land to adopt the families as they arrive and stay with them until they are established as members of the community.

A few days ago I received a letter from Mrs. Edward Sanders of Claremont, Calif., telling me of the first family that she knew that had come over and had been adopted in this manner. She says "the significant point is that only nineteen dollars actual cash outlay has been made, although housing, jobs, food, household supplies, medical care, etc., have all been secured.

"As a matter of fact," she continues, "the main provisions were made for them within three hours of the decision of our coordinating council to assist the family. The International Refugee Organization thought that the Sawyckas would be a difficult family to resettle inasmuch as there are only four women, but the fact that they were not, we consider as partial proof that our plan makes sense in a practical way....

"It has been most gratifying to see our expectations come true. Not only have these people become self-supporting immediately, but they have a host of friends and neighbors interested in their present welfare and their future adjustment. Because this has been a community and not a welfare agency job, they have had the kind of friendly help and welcome which it would be difficult for an agency to give—flowers in the house, jam in the pantry, language instruction, counseling on purchasing, and many other personal attentions."

Mrs. Sanders hopes that this encouraging first step, which has been reported in their local papers, may encourage many communities throughout the United States to follow the same pattern. She feels that it will facilitate the establishment of our new citizens and will give tremendous interest and sense of satisfaction to their neighbors wherever they settle.

Naturally, it will require cooperation with the government immigration services in a choice of the right community for the various skills and professions that will be found among the new immigrants.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL