NOVEMBER 17, 1950
NEW YORK, Thursday—I have just received a report from the Brooklyn, N.Y., chapter of the American National Red Cross that shows that our people are not failing to meet their obligations to the United Nations forces serving in Korea. This is a really inspiring story of achievement in Brooklyn alone.
In addition to this report I was reminded the other day about the work that has been done by the Junior Red Cross. The Red Cross is one of the few organizations allowed to work in our public schools as well as in outside organizations. These youngsters in the Junior Red Cross keep up their activities during the whole school year. November 1-15 is the enrollment period for membership in the Junior Red Cross in all schools throughout the United States and I think it would be well for the elders to realize how well these young people have carried on their work.
For 30 years now they have been filling gift boxes that have gone out to various parts of the world, and I have always liked, among their international projects, the idea of the correspondence album. This puts children of all lands in communication with one another. They exchange their ideas; they tell about the customs and habits of their own country, and they get to know one another. It is a good preparation for the chance, which may sometime come to them of visiting some foreign land. Also, it makes it possible for people who have become American citizens but whose origins are still not too distant in foreign lands to feel proud of being able to contribute knowledge that will enable their children to make their projects more fruitful.
In order to be helpful at home, the Junior Red Cross makes favors and greeting cards for holidays throughout the year and sends them to hospitals, both civilian and military, as well as to various other institutions. In their manual art classes they make ashtrays for our veterans' hospitals, and they even put on variety shows and plays to entertain the patients. In their domestic art classes Junior Red Cross members make soft toys and children's and infants' dresses to distribute where they are needed.
This organization is a preparation for responsibility in the parent organization. The training begins in the early, impressionable days to make children conscious of the needs that exist at home and abroad and of the fact that they can help to meet those needs.
Any acceptance of responsibility, whether by participation in a charitable undertaking or in civic groups, is important in a democracy for their ultimate responsibility in their government through work in their own communities. The Junior Red Cross has a great opportunity because it can reach our children in public schools and I know its activities will be supported by the general public.