FEBRUARY 8, 1954
NEW YORK, Sunday—I am always hearing about kind things people do, but which rarely become known even to their neighbors. The other day, for example, a businessman wrote me the following little story:
"A business neighbor, an automobile dealer of Burbank, California, Mr. Harold Hicks, has been carrying on a rather interesting hobby. He produces and directs full-scale variety shows for entertainment of approximately 3000 tubercular patients in seven sanatoriums in the Los Angeles area. Alone, unaided and without any previous show experience, he has enlisted the aid of over 200 of Hollywood's top entertainers who donate their time and talent for the Hicks shows. Many of these entertainers were TB patients previously and know how important it is to give tubercular patients hope, and cheer them on their road to recovery. Mr. Hicks was once a patient. All expenses of these shows are footed by him alone. . . Mr. Hicks is now planning his 35th show which will be staged for 350 cancer and tuberculosis patients at the City of Hope in Duarte, California."
It is good to realize that this man, who himself must have known the loneliness of being ill, has never forgotten what he felt and has gone ahead to make it easier for others to bear their long period of confinement and convalescence. Now and then stories of this kind are helpful, for all of us need faith in human nature renewed. It is someone who makes a sustained effort of this kind to help others who reminds us of the good to be found in all human beings.
I had the pleasure on Thursday morning of seeing Miss Mary Dingman of the International Union for Child Welfare. She told me about the plans being made for a study in India and other Asian countries of what can be done in the field of juvenile delinquency. The union hopes, of course, that countries which are not as advanced in social work as some of the Western countries will establish their own methods of caring for young people who get into trouble, and will plan for preventive measures as well. They would like to make a similar beginning in South America, but have not as yet obtained the necessary funds.
Later in the afternoon I did a recording for ORT Day, sponsored by the Organization for Rehabilitation Through Training, which is celebrated on March 10th. This organization gives technical training to young people in rural and urban areas. I have seen their schools in Israel and in many other countries. They set their standards very high, and their training is such as to assure that they turn out a finished worker.