AUGUST 24, 1942
WASHINGTON, Sunday—We left Hyde Park early Friday morning, changed trains in New York City and came straight through to Washington, to find ourselves slightly warmer on arrival than we had been in the early morning hours at Hyde Park. On the whole, we felt very well pleased with our time spent on the train, for we had completely canvassed the Christmas lists and are now well on our way towards preparations for this annual event.
I imagine many people will do as I am planning to do this year —namely—try to give such things as people need and must have, and to supplement with as many Defense Bonds and Stamps as possible.
Because of the poem by two soldiers, which I quoted in my column, written about their desire for letters, our old friend, Mr. Louis Ruppel of the Columbia Broadcasting System, sent me a copy of the CBS "Mail Bag." This general letter, sent to CBS employees, already numbering 168, who are now in the services, was started primarily to print extracts from letters as they came back, telling where the different men were.
They found such a demand for news from home, however, that they are now adding considerable news about the home front. They find that the boys deeply appreciate this mailing service, and I speak of it here as a suggestion to other large organizations. I am sure a number of them are already keeping in touch with their employees in the same way, but more may be encouraged to do so if they realize how much it is appreciated.
I also have a letter from the Servicemen's Council of the Federation of Churches, working with the YMCA of New York, Brooklyn and Queens. They enclose a report of the work which the churches are doing. Near the big camps, different denominations are helping the Army chaplains by providing music. These same churches often provide hospitality for parents, wives and friends of the men, who come long distances to visit them.
In many communities, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish churches are working together, and sometimes the auxiliaries send hometown newspapers to the boys far from home. Often they get together and send Christmas boxes. When she cannot reach her own boys, many a mother gets great satisfaction by cooking extra food and having boys who are on leave, or boys from the camps, come to her for Sunday dinner. The churches are one of the many organizations in every community working along these lines.