Wilbur Kelsey Thomas to Jane Addams, April 2, 1921


April 2, 1921.

Jane Addams,
Hull House,
800 S. Halsted St.,
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Friend:

As occasion offers I am going to send you news which will keep you informed of the development of the work. You will no doubt have many questions about these things which we will need to answer and I hope, therefore, that you will feel free to write for more information. You are on our list for all news releases and bulletins that are sent out and I also hope to send you a weekly statement of finances.

Receipts during the week ending March 26th for all fields total $10,529.65.

The totals for the six weeks previous counting backwards are: $5,796.80, $138,652.51, $18,174.14, $20,412.39, $146,016.34, $23,460.06.

The greater part of all this money is earmarked or already allocated for the various fields. Our unallocated general funds on March 24th were $49,050.61. You, of course, know that we have a considerably larger amount in our treasury but it has already been voted for the various fields. The budget for Serbia for the maintenance of the hospital is $10,000, $4,000 of which has already been expended. Our appropriation for Mexico, not a yearly budget but a straight appropriation, is $10,000, of which $2,708.14 has been spent. In our German account we have over $100,000 and we are making appeals to the general public for funds for the continuation of the work next year. This point, of course, is not to be stressed at the present time, as people may say that they wish to keep their money until there is an immediate need for it. On the other hand you can assure all contributors that it is absolutely necessary to have the money as soon as possible for it takes from three to five months to get food purchased, shipped and delivered. [page 2]

Slides. It is our purpose to keep six sets of lecture slides for each field. We also have a prepared lecture which Mr. Libby has just finished to go with each set, so that the lecture can be used in churches, small halls, etc., even by people who have not actually been in the work. Kindly keep this in mind and make suggestions concerning the use of these slides. We also have a movie film of Vienna. It is not very good but it has its use and in case you know of some way in which it can be used to good advantage, kindly let us know.

Will you also kindly keep in mind that we have a number of pictures that can be loaned to newspapers, magazines, etc. Oftentimes a paper will take a picture with two or three lines of explanation when they will not take an article. If you can use any such, find out what country that particular paper is stressing, so that we can send the pictures that will probably be used.

Russia. We have arrived at no definite working agreement, but we have a proposal now that the Jewish Joint Distribution Board will ask us to take over the direct supervision of their supplies in Russia. The plan is that they will furnish a few workers who will work as members of the Service Committee in Russia, but who will be under the direction of our Committee. We, of course, will approve of all personnel before they are sent. The Jewish people are already working in Russia, but as the work is done by Jews and primarily for Jews, it increases to some extent the anti-Semitic feeling. It would seem, therefore, as if the Service Committee had a distinct service to render it breaking down some of the prejudice that exists toward the Jewish people, as well as rendering service to the Russian people. You understand, of course, that no definite proposition has been made and, therefore, the Executive Board or the Service Committee have taken no action. I am sending this to you merely for information and not for publicity at the present time.

Germany. I am calling a meeting of a few prominent German Americans to meet in Philadelphia on April 5th to discuss the whole question of continuing the mass child-feeding in Germany. I feel sure that we can get some money from the American public and trust that Mr. Hoover will see his way to make an appropriation of food for next year. The larger part of the money, however, will have to come from the Americans of German descent.

Personnel. The question of personnel is always before us. We are in need of the right kind of people for work in Germany, Poland and Russia. We do not limit our personnel to Friends but we do insist that our workers shall [page 3] have what we call the Friendly spirit. They must be in hearty sympathy with the ideas and ideals of the Society and must themselves be more or less of an example of the type of life which we wish to foster. The call at the present time is for nurses, well qualified, trained, social workers and for qualified workable executives. The domineering, individualistic person is not acceptable. We must give to the world a message of good will, forbearance and humble service. The very best are none too good. I would like to ask you, therefore, to put me in touch with people who may impress you as likely candidates for the work. You will find a great many Red Cross workers, etc., who did not get across during the war who are very anxious to go now. It is our experience that only a few of these are qualified.

Occasionally we have a call for a stenographer or a bookkeeper. A stenographer who can write another language is very valuable.

Carolena M. Wood is spending six weeks to two months in the central west speaking in the interest of the work. We now have good strong committees supporting our Russian work in Chicago, New York and Boston.

Yours sincerely,

Wilbur K. Thomas. [signed]
Executive Secretary.