Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Caring for the Orphaned Children of France--1917

    During the First World War, many appeals for relief for war-torn Europe were made to the people of Montgomery County. The YMCA, the Red Cross, Liberty loans, and the American Society for Relief of French War Orphans all made special pleas to our populace. Many churches, Sunday Schools, ladies' groups, and others responded to the orphan appeal, and as a result, within two weeks in May of 1917, fifty French orphans were "adopted" by people in our county.
orphaned children in France, 1917
   One cent a week from each of seventy people in an organization was enough to save the life of a fatherless child in France. The mothers of these children were able to collect every cent of these donations through their post offices and use the money to clothe, feed, and school their children. All handling costs were supported by private funds. Groups in our community that supported this appeal and helped relieve the suffering of these poor children were the high school homemaking class, the While Away Club, the Monday Bridge Club, and the Dorothy Q. branch of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Miss Ristine, a young woman of our city, and a favorite of the youngsters in town, held a reading hour at the college, and charged ten cents per child. These funds were also contributed to the orphan fund, and gave our town's children a way to help with the relief effort. Many local families also "adopted" French orphans, such as the Detchons, Durhams, Campbells, McNutts, Goodbars, Postons, Dr. Swope, and the Dr. and Mrs. J. N. Taylor family. Many families received letters from their supported child, and shared them with the newspaper.
young women of Crawfordsville High School

 The Amici class of the First Methodist Church supported Simone Lepape, while Miss Cowan's advanced homemaking class used their funds for Marie Lenoir, of Paris.

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