"C.H." Plan For
" I've Been Humiliated By The Gratitude I Receive "
THIS IS NOT A CHRISTMAS APPEAL FOR CHARITY BUT AN APPEAL FOR JUSTICE.
Waiting for an official body to act to alleviate the horrors of unemployment can give little satisfaction to sincere well-wishers of the workless.
But some personal act of friendship can give a great deal of happiness—a pleasure shared between the donor and the receiver.
Here is a way of action. Here is an immediate practical way to show your solidarity with all those people whose suffering is bluntly summed up in a figure: 1,798,618 unemployed.
fect social system entails.
Here and now you can relieve some of that distress. Below the C.H. tells you how. It is not difficult.
You can adopt some of the Catholic families doomed to live in a distressed area. The adoption entails only the sending of parcels of food, clothes, books, and small luxuries—all in a condition in which you yourself would use these things—occasionally to your adopted family.
The following letter has been written by the mother of a family living in a South Wales distressed area to a C.H. reader, who has been sending parcels of food, clothes, and books to this family three or four times a year. " I've been humiliated by the gratitude I receive," says this reader.
Letter from Family Already Adopted DEAR —, It is so lovely of you to send so much and everything so nice and useful. I just don't know how to thank you properly. Your lovely parcels to us here have seemed to make things so different, even apart from the fact that everything is so useful and good and takes a weight of worry away.
There is the lovely warm feeling that somebody cares and that so nice feeling of knowing that somehow, someone thinks we matter. It makes all the struggle to keep going worth while.
The parcel on Tuesday, so soon after the other one, was such a surprise and useful wore the frock to Mass this morning and she was so proud she had to leave her coat open to show it off.
The chocolates and cigarettes are indeed a luxury and the smart suede coat I love. How the children love the books. My little son is very anxious to make a bookcase for me so that we can keep the books nicely. He is full of ideas. The girls have been making paper covers to keep the books clean, and they've been telling me the stories.
Could you see the difference you have made to them and me I feel sure you would realise what I mean when I say I don't know how to thank you properly.
I do hope you will let the children and me do something again—I mean either ':nitting or sewing, or a rug to make. It lakes us feel so happy if we can do some,h ing.
I do hope you and all your dear ones are quite well and that all will go well for you all. Our prayers are for you all, and our love, too.—Yours, etc.,
WHAT YOU CAN DO There are many other families in the English wastelands who need the food, and the clothes and small luxuries you can send them, badly. They need even more " the lovely warm feeling that somebody cares."
Can you adopt one of these families?
Can you show to one family at least that you think they matter by sending them whenever you can gifts of the things they want.
Next time you are cooking you could make a little extra jam or mincemeat, a few more cakes or sweets. When you go shopping perhaps you could buy a little more fruit, hard fruit, like apples, oranges, tangerines.
Next time you go through your wardrobe you could sort out some of the clothes you do not need, clothes that are clean and untorn, clothes that you would wear yourself, yet could quite easily do without. Perhaps there are toys or books, well cargd for, that you would not miss too badly.
Give What You Like Yourself Cigarettes are not very expensive—for you; but a father on the dole must go hungry in order to have them.
If you send cigarettes be sure you send the brand that you smoke yourself. Woodbines won't do for them, if they're not good enough for you. In all things give as you would be given. Give the kind and quality of things you like yourself.
Parcels of goods can be sent quite cheaply by passenger train at owner's risk —clothes, of course, can go by parcel post. When you send your parcels, however, remember you are doing only the least that can be done. Therefore be humble. The word "charity " stinks in the nostrils of the poor because of the fuss and condescension with which the rich man has hitherto cast his crumbs.
The CATHOLIC HERALD is prepared to give, in strict confidence, names and addresses of families to whom parcels would bring relief and happiness. It is important that parcels should be sent direct to the addresses given and not to the CATHOLIC HERALD office.
Of course it will be objected that this plan of family adoption is only a palliative and does not help to form a more just, more sane social system. But whilst planning for that new order surely it is our duty to reduce as much as possible the unnecessary suffering under the old order.
Must the people go without the ,00d they need, the clothes they need, whilst we hold public meetings about the desirability of a reformed social and economic system? No?
Then get that parcel ready. But remember, clean and mended clothes, and no condescension.