WORK FOR THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE
NURSES FOR HOME AND FOREIGN RELIEF:
The first great task delegated to the North Carolina Division in this second year of their existence, is the recruiting of 460 students for nurses training schools.
It should be allotted to our county and township chairmen according to the population of available young women within the prescribed age, 19--35.
The patriotism, strength and energy of our organization will be put to the test by the campaign. Its importance is so great that the Executive of our State Division and local units are requested to take direct charge and not delegate the work to a new committee.
The cooperating agencies: the Surgeon General of the United States Army, the American Red Cross and the Nursing Committee of the Council of National Defense. These agencies have informed their State representatives of the plan of campaign, who in their turn will inform their local representatives of these respective associations, so that they will be ready to give their cooperation and assistance when called upon by our Committee.
Will you not tive (sic) your earnest efforts to conducting a complete and forcefull campaign in recruiting student nurses now---student nurses to release graduate nurses at the front?
Not only should we start a campaign for student nurses, but we should interest college girls in the study of biology, medicine, geology and chemistry, bee culture and poultry raising. Our schools and colleges should provide such practical courses that our young women may be fitted to accept appointments in our Federal and State Departments, immediately upon graduation.
Our splendid and progressive State Normal College is at the present time considering the establishment of a nurses course leading to a degree.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY:
It is very evident that Labor’s share in winning the war is second only to the army itself and grave dangers will attend the shifting of women into men’s places and the readjustment that is brought about by the withdrawal of millions of men from American Industry. It is undoubtedly in the industrial and economic field that the war will mark the most far-reaching transformation in the conditions of women. The real problem began to be acute after the first draft and we can well imagine what further development of women’s work and woman’s power is to be brought about in the near future. The most important phase of the question of women in industry is that concerning standards for we need regulations protecting working women in the industries that are now in the process of the making. Many women are applying to the Woman’s Committee for positions in France and America. This Department should be closely linked with the Registration Department and the State and Federal Departments of Labor.
The decision of the United States Supreme Court that the Federal Child Labor Law is unconstitutional, places a new burden on all of us who are working to make this year one of distinct advancement in the care and protection of children. In view of this situation it would seem desirable that the Woman’s Committee of the North Carolina Division should look into the laws of North Carolina and present to the General Assembly an adequate Child Labor Law and endorse action of the Southern Cotton Manufacturers Association offering our cooperation.
HEALTH AND RECREATION:
We have lately been asked for a closer cooperation between our State Chairman of Health and Recreation and the Field Workers of the Committee on Protective Work for Girls of the Commission on Training Camp Activities. As time goes on the problem of regulating the amusements of the girls and men in camp communities becomes more serious. It is the responsibility of this Department to see that these girls are looked out for and that a large amount of protective work as well as remedial work is done. Investigations have been requested on: Public amusement places, jails, detention homes, clinics for the treatment of venereal diseases; Probation officers and Police women.
HOME AND ALLIED RELIEF:
The Director General of Civilian Relief who is responsible for the Home Service work throughout the country has called attention to the plans of the Children’s Bureau in reducing infant mortality and is asking the Home Service workers of the American Red Cross to cooperate with the Woman’s Committee. We are also asked to cooperate with the Civilian Relief Committee as the needs of soldiers’ families are brought to our attention.
REGISTRATION FOR SERVICE:
The women of North Carolina cannot better show their patriotism or their appreciation of what this war really means than by registering for service. We should not rest until every woman who cares for the future of her sex and her children shall have registered her willingness to serve this cause.
With registration comes the desire of women for courses in instructions and placement work. At a special meeting at the National Conference in Washington resolutions were adopted and endorsed by the Woman’s Committee. They are as follows:
(1) That registration shall be made the qualification for membership in the Woman’s Committee in such states as have taken registration.
(2) That the Committee on Courses of Instruction shall be transferred from the Department of Educational Propaganda to the Department of Registration.
(3) That whatever placement work is now directed by a subcommittee of one of the existing departments, it shall be transferred to the Department of Registration.
These recommendations are presented to you with the request that you consider them and decide what in your judgment is wise.
The plan of organization of the Woman’s Committee contemplates the inclusion of every woman in the country and the idea of membership here given is not intended in any way to limit the membership, but the idea as presented suggests that everyone interested will have registered for service wherever registration has been taken.
It has not the purpose or desire of the Council of National Defense to suggest any radical reorganization of the work already accomplished and now being carried on by the State Division of the Woman’s Committee, but it is earnestly recommended that we join our State Council of Defense in its effort to organize Community Councils in our State and in carrying out the work which these Councils inaugurate.
THRIFT AND ECONOMY:
The Nation’s resources in man-power, money, transportation, food stuffs, raw materials and furle, have already been subjected to heavy strain, and it is clearly the duty of every citizen to guard against increasing this strain by a single wasteful act.
It is most creditable for everyone---man and woman, boy and girl---to be economical in dress, food and manner of living. Girls and women are being criticized as the great spenders of our country and it cannot be denied that it is the women who throng to places of amusement and the fashionable shops and are most persistent in the use of pleasure cars. Money spent in this way is money actually consumed. It is gone and brings no return. Let us pledge ourselves to produce something and above all let us save much.
At the State Council meeting two weeks ago, I learned that there were 4,000 deserters in North Carolina---real and technical---and the State Council requested our Woman’s Committee to assist them in making known to the Adjutant-General any such cases that come to our observation. Seek them out and report immediately.
CAMP MEETINGS AND COUNTY FAIRS:
Camp meetings in the summer and county fairs in the fall are excellent places for the dissemination of information and we urge the women to make use of them to tell of the work.
The Council of National Defense has recommended to the State Councils of Defense the unusual opportunity offered by the State Fairs for presenting to millions of people by means of exhibits the war work of government agencies, and has asked them to prepare such an exhibit.
The Chairman of the North Carolina Division is requested to attend the meeting of the War Board where preliminary plans are to be arranged, since the State Divisions of the Woman’s Committee are asked to prepare an exhibit of their work. Suggestions for this work have been received from headquarters.
CALLING OUT RETIRED TEACHERS:
The war is making alarming inroads on the ranks of the teachers and the Commissioner of Education is making an eloquent appeal for teachers who have left the ranks to return. Dr. Claxton has appealed to us as follows: “Some policy must be adopted to protect the schools against the dangerous lowering of efficiency. Since the registration cards of the Woman’s Committee enable this committee to know of the retired teachers in each locality, may I suggest that much good might be accomplished if your local registration committees were asked to give their special attention to this matter.” here is a chance for the Registration Committee to render a splendid service.
MAGAZINES AND BOOKS FOR CAMP LIBRARIES:
Since the entrance of the United States into the great war thinking people have realized that every possible recreation must be provided for our ment at the front and the men in concentration camps in our own country. Cooperating with Miss DeVane of Goldsboro, I ask that every county chairman present solicit books throughout her county and send to Camp Greene or Ft. Caswell. The shelves of these libraries are drawn upon with every regiment leaving camp for overseas, as each regiment is given its quota of books.
HOME HOSPITALITY OF SOLDIERS:
Whatever can be done by the women of North Carolina to cheer and sustain the morale of the camp at home will ad to the ability of the soldier in the field to exert to the utmost his fighting powers in behalf of a country that shows it cares for him, his comfort and happiness.
This call is to each one of you, if you are so fortunate as to be able to offer hospitality of your home, or to aid in any manner the efforts of the community to develop such forms of entertainment as shall give to our soldiers and sailors the heartening which lonely men, as well as women, feel when separated from their homes loved ones.
The desire to avoid the usual symbols of mourning has resulted in the adoption by the Woman’s Committee and with the approval of the President of the United States a band of black three inches wide upon which shall be placed a gold star for each member of a family lost in the service of our country, and worn upon the left arm.
Do we realize that we at home are just as responsible to our country in its time of peril as are the fighting men at the front? Are we doing our part if we work only when we feel like it and in our own way? Ten million women concentrating on work the Government asks for are going to keep America victorious. Napoleon has told us that two-thirds of the strength of the army depends upon the morale at home. If we are not keeping it up by loyal team work, we are slackers.
Are we eating to please Uncle Sam or the Kaiser? Because we have bought thrift stamps and Liberty Loan Bonds are we excusing ourselves from Red Cross work, if so we are slackers.
The Government is asking us to take a part in the work of the Woman’s Committee and this includes every phase of Women’s War Work and making ourselves more efficient in home service---sanctifying the daily duties by the spirit of sacrifice and of patriotism. Shall we not for the sake of home and country Carry on, carry on?”
Laura Holmes Reilley