More Money Must be Raised to Promote the Work of The Y.M.C.A.
The simple fact is that the American people must raise $170,500,000 for the work of the allied organizations that are at work ‘over there” and “over here” for our boys and their companions in arms. This is a large sum, but we shall raise it because the work is absolutely essential.
It is essential for the comfort of our boys. The “huts” of the various organizations are their home touch. There they can count on finding a friend on getting counsel if they need it, on relief from homesickness when it gets to impressing.
It is essential for their correspondence. The soldier has no place to write in his barracks or at the front. The “huts” provide him with the means and the place. The parents are eager to hear from him. Tens of thousands of letters would not have been written could not have been written, but for the “hut” conveniences. All writing materials are furnished free, and the cost runs to the hundreds of thousands. That is a part of the millions asked for.
It is essential for their happiness. The “huts” are the social center, the place of clean companionship, of song and games and cheer. “Wouldn’t know what to do without the welfare huts” – so writes the boys. It’s the only touch of home we get. And the parents will support whatever gives that feeling to their sons, we may be sure of that.
It is essential for their morale. They know well why it is there. No one needs to tell the boys the deep underlying principles of Christianity which are responsible for these “huts” just as these principles are responsible for our country, for the Christian churches and the Christian homes and the love and care of the dear ones in the homes. Religion does not have to be advertised or put on posters or play cards. Religion is incarnated in the welfare workers in camp and hospital. Religion speaks from every “hut” in ceaseless service. And religion as General Pershing says, is the supreme essential to the morale of an army and the keeping of its fighting strength at the highest point.
So the $170,500,000 are needed to carry on this stupendous work, in which seven different organizations are engaged, but the Y.M.C.A. has the laboring oar and the major part.
The division is made as follows: Y.M.C.A., $100,000,000, Y.W.C.A., $15,000,000, Salvation Army, $3,500,000, American Library Association, $3,500,000, National Catholic War Council, $30,000,000. The campaign is set for November 11 to 18 inclusive throughout the United States.
A large sum of money? Comparatively. But that thought vanishes when one realizes what it is needed for. The work must be done to win the war, just as munitions made and men conscripted. How much better the effect to have the people raise it by voluntary subscriptions than to have the government do it by loan. It is the glad and voluntary raising of these large sums for the welfare of our boys that proves to the men in the field that the people are heart and soul behind them and with them in the struggle. Nothing could be more dispiriting to our boys and the Allies, nothing more discouraging to the Kaiser and his dupes.
That is why we want to put our heart and soul in this campaign and put it way over. We ought to raise $200,000,000 – a much better looking total than the other. Now for it – all together heart and soul – for our boys.