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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 24, 1932, Image 69

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1932-01-24/ed-1/seq-69/

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WOMAN’S PART
IN THIS ERA OF
READJUSTMENT
As Carried Out by
Mrs. Herbert Hoover
To Be Cheery and Hopeful, to Provide C
Jobs About the House for the Unemployed,
to Buy Essential 7 kings 7 hat Now Can Be
Had So Cheaply—These Are a Few of the
Important Things Every One Can Do to
Tide Over Current Period of Depression.
BY CORINNE REID FRAZIER.
IS the problem of a business crisis entirely
one of international finance and world
economics? Is this crisis something for
Government officials and business men
alone to bother their heads about?
Or do the women and children share,
too in the responsibilities involved? Is there
ft definite-part for them to play in the business
or rehabilitation?
“What are the women of America yes, and
the girls and boys—doing about it?” asks Mrs.
Herbert Hoover, wife of the President, repeat
edly over the »ir and in direct appeals through
the press. Are they recognizing and making
the most of their opportunities to shoulder a
fair share of the burden?
Mrs. Hoover not only asks but also suggests
the answer. She points out a hundred little
ways in which every woman can do her share
without adding any unwieldy or unreasonable
burden to her personal load—and not only
every woman, bu. also every child.
To the women Mrs. Hoover has spoken di
rectly and frankly. Her advice is simple:
Take stock of the little things that need to be
done about your home; things which might
wait for another season, perhaps, but which
give employment to some one who needs it
more than you need the small sum involved
have those things done now.
Some new curtains, It may oe, or ^
the back porch steps. Count your pennies and
see not how little you can have done but how
much.
“At the White House,” Mrs Hoover cites as
an illustration of her point, “the curtains at
many of the windows were rather frayed last
Fall They were still serviceable and perhaps
we could have made them last through the
Winter, but I decided to have new curtains
made, for I found that the man who takes the
order for White House curtains was much in
need of the contract. It seemed to me to be
poor economy to save on White House curtains
at the expense of employment for one of our
own citizens.”
■THE First Lady believes, with many others
* who have made a study of the psychology
as well as the 'economics involved in the pres
ent situation, that in the co-operation of every
body on little things lies not only a patriotic
duty but also a potent force for ultimate re
covery. If every woman in the country, for
instance, who had it within her means to do
so—and there are hundreds of thousands so
situated—would order just one odd job done or
would buy just that one thing she had resolved
"to get along without during these hard times,”
the resultant impetus to business might of itself
add sufficient force to the optimistic trend al
ready at work to roll away the stone of business
paralysis which has blocked the path to pros
perity for many weary months.
As Mrs. Hoover pointed out to newspaper
women in New York in a discussion of the
things women could do to help, even so sim
ple a thing as the ordering of new curtains
may have far-reaching results.
“Of course, I could have that done," says
Mrs. Homemaker, eyeing the woodwork that
needs repainting, the curtains that need re
placing or steps that might be mended, “but,
after all, what's one odd job more or less at
a time like this? Hardly a drop in the bucket.’’
But when drops are falling into a bucket,
have you ever noticed how quickly the pail is
filled to overflowing?
•THERE’S that papering that needs to be
* done. Well, let’s do it now! First, we
order the new paper, giving a contract to a
local paper dealer—not much, perhaps, but
enough profit In it to enable him to go home
and tell his wife she can have that dress she
wanted, or Johnny can have the new suit he
needs for school. A sale in a local dry goods
store—Circle No. 1.
The paperhanger comes, whistling over his
work, happy in the knowledge of an unex
pected job that means meat on his table this
week for the first time in two months—Circle
No. 2. The odd job keeps him busy for several
days, and while he’s at work a neighbor drops in
who had been thinking of having several rooms
in his house done over but kept putting it off.
“That’s a fine job your man is doing.”
“Yes, we had thought of waiting until next
year, but when we realized how much odd
jobs are needed around this town just now
we decided to take the plunge.”
“Say, that’s an idea. I haven’t felt I could
afford to give much to the unemployment fund
right now, as things are pretty tight with us,
but I can have my papering done and give a
man a job.”
“We’ll be through with this man tomorrow.”
Another job for the paperhanger—the third
circle on the water.
Martha, the paperhanger’s wife, rejoices be
cause now one can buy those new' shoes for
little Martha and Tommy. More business for
the local shoe store, and this in turn leads to
more work for the shoe factory. The circle
widens. And so it goes. That’s what your
odd job can do. That is what the wife of
the President meant when she said’ “The
curtains might have lasted one more season,
but it would be poor economy-”
If you are a young girl or boy still in school,
you may think that there is nothing you can
do about the depression. It’s very distressing
and it has cut you out of a lot of nice things
you were able to have and to do two or three
years ago—and Mary Jones, next door, hasn’t
had a new dress for ages. But it’s just one
of those things. You might feel stirred by a
desire to help while everybody seems to be talk
ing about what must be done, but what is
there for you to do?
Let Mrs. Hoover tell you. The First Lady
is as close in spirit to the school girls and boys
of America as any other adult, if not closer.
Mrs. Herbert Hoover points out that in many cases members of the family
circle can do much to alleviate present conditions by assuming the proper
mental attitude.
for she Is herself an active adviser to the Girl
Scouts and has a keen Interest in all similar
youth organizations, following their activities
with close interest and unfailingly sympa
thetic understanding. You can be of real serv
ice to your own family and to less fortunate
neighbors in little ways that no one but you
could serve, she points out in a recent heart
to-heart talk with the boys and girls of the
4-H Clubs of the country. And through them
she was speaking to every boy and girl in the
land.
■'This year is one of special opportunity for
the consideration of problems of helpfulness,”
Mrs. Hoover declares. "For this year there are
more people than usual in need of special
care, more than usual in need of your care.
There is something for each one of you to do
in this emergency, a special achievement
awaiting you.
"In plotting your individual achievement
projects tin 4-H Club works) you decide on
the problem you will attack, you make an all
round survey of It, you lay out a plan for your
course of action, then you go to work to carry
out that plan diligently, perseveringly, enthusi
astically. And if new factors enter into its de
velopment, you may ingeniously readjust your
whole plan to the new demands. In much the
same way as you did with that 4-H project,
you find yourself meeting other problems which
come into your life now. And in such a way
you meet your share of the responsibilities of
this present year.
‘‘You all have read or heard so much of
these times of depression, when crops or prices
have been bad and unemployment has existed
in the Industrial sections of our country, that
most of you no doubt have already thought
over such of its phases as have thus far affected
your community; and many of you may have
already seen ways in which you could help
lighten the burdens for some.
11 "THE problems immediately about you. the
I ways in which you can help, differ
greatly according to the section of the country
in which you live and to the factors affecting
your own family.
“Indeed, some of us will find the greatest
problem is the problem of our own family.
Some of us are going to find actual need
there, perhaps the greatest need to be seen
anywhere in our neighborhood. To know how
to do without cheerfully, how to decide wisely
what must be done this year for the ultimate
good and what can wait until next year, how
best to help the other members bear their in
dividual share of the family’s hardships, how
to help make a Winter’s campaign for achieve
ment instead of submitting to an aimless day
to-day worry—this, in our own families, will
be the great problem many of us will have
to face.
“We want to face it confidently, cour
ageously.
“I remember vividly when I was a little girl
there was among my playmates one Winter a
group of normal, pleasant children from a
nearby farm. A number of times a week we
saw each other. The next Summer one of
the adult members of my family learned from
their mother that, because of a series of
catastroptiis on their farm and to their fam
ily's financial resources, they had lived all
Winter virtually on corn and milk, the two
items they had produced abundantly on the
farm that year. Of course, it made an admi
rable diet with the addition of a fair amount
of cabbage, beets and turnips which they had
stored, and with the very occasional addition
of chicken and eggs and only a very little
pork, all of which was home-grown and home
stored. It sounds very meager. But they had
had a happy Winter. Father and mother had
kept cheerful and had kept the children active.
Incidentally, mother must have been a good
cook. And the children had not grumbled.
Can you see the difference to that family if
the six or seven children from 7 years up had
complained? Through conversations at school
and by observing the others’ lunches, they
knew that all the other children of the neigh
borhood were having much more in the line
of “goodies” than were they. And the other
children all had at least some new dresses
and suits instead of &U made-over and altered
and mended ones. I heard my family later
discussing the so-called ‘morale’ of those chil
dren and what its effect must have been in
the family and in the neighborhood.
“That little memory has helped me to vis
ualize how much the attitude of the children
in the family is going to help or hamper many
families in pulling through these next months.
There is nothing much more discouraging than
a moody, complaining child.
“And, of course, the picture of that very
family I have Just painted shows where chil
dren may be helpful to other families than
their own.
i i ] THINK I have emphasised indirectly, here,
' the fact that in your daily friendliness
you can be of very essential help to your less
fortunate friends this year If you happen to be
among the very many whose families have suf
fered little in diminished income.
"Of course there are other and far more
practical ways t^jat you can find to be of ma
terial assistance if there are families in your
neighborhood who are approaching actual
want. Your one-time calf may have reached
the stage of being a milk cow this year and
you may have a quart or more of milk every
day to take to the family whose baby or old
grandmother actually needs it. You may have
apples or root vegetables which you have
canned, which you can share with some one
less well provided, and now we know better
than we did years ago how vital milk and
vegetables and fruit are in a limited diet.
"And I must leave with you a word to those
who have no actual want in their communi
ties. I know many such. Where the crops
have been good, where banks and stores are
doing their normal business, where the people
were not led into disastrous speculation in re
cent years; where, in, fact, if no one aids My
one else, still every one will have more than
Continued on Seventeenth Page

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