Emma Engle to Jane Addams, February 24, 1906

Plattsmouth, Neb.
Feb. 24, 1906.

My dear Miss Addams,--

I have lately read your article in "The Ladies Home Journal."  Some of its [words] vibrated in such perfect accord with the longings in my own soul that I am now writing to ask you a favor.

Is there anything one could do to help relieve the burden of those who have too many of the poor in the large cities?  That is, could one work among them and be a benefit if they did not have a good income?  If so, how?

I have read many magazine articles on this question but none have ever suggested anything that I might do in the way of service.

To put my question on a narrower basis, I will state that I teach mathematics in a high school, that I have had a four year college course and that my home is in Michigan.  I shall be teaching until June. [page 2] I drifted into my present work because the door always stands open to those who have attended the higher schools. There has always been a dissatisfaction with my work because any influence one may have is so indirect as to be unnoted.  I want to find a way to help those who are more unfortunate than I and then make my life of more value to the world.

I neglected to state that I am not needed at home and that I am nearly 30.

I well know what presumption it is for me to make this demand upon your time, but I have never been able to gain this information in any other way.

Yours sincerely,
Emma Engle.

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