By Mrs. C. Lee Shipton, Route 3, Box 146, Concord, N.C.
There are many ways in which the Home Demonstration clubs help to further international friendship and understanding. For many years the members have taken part in the Letter Friend program in which club women may correspond with rural women in other lands. The Home Agents can secure addresses for those interested. Through this program much has been accomplished for a better understanding of the problems and conditions existing all over the world. These friendships will be lasting examples of the good will in our hearts.
Many of our clubs and other rural organizations have cooperated with CARE, CROP, World Relief agencies, the Share Our Surplus program, and other groups whose purpose is to alleviate world suffering. Packages, food and clothing have been sent to needy families. These gifts have brought great happiness and are a practical expression of our desire to be of service and to alleviate suffering in other lands. Many groups have reported letters of appreciation from the recipients that have been interesting and gratifying. These letters have been full of gratitude and these gifts from “across the sea” will not be forgotten. The kindness which prompted these gifts will mean more than the gifts themselves. After a recent donation of $5 to CARE, six letters of appreciation were received from Greece. These letters were in Greek and had to be translated by Greeks in America. This cemented the friendship between our two countries. These letters have also caused us to be more grateful and to express our gratitude. The more ties or bonds that we have of love and friendship, that much more will world peace be strengthened. Our gifts must always be sent with understanding and concern and never with a feeling of patronizing on our part.
Another way in which we cooperate with other club women is through Pennies for Friendship. Last year the club women of North Carolina contributed $593.28 for Pennies for Friendship. We are cooperating this year in sending a home economist to Ceylon who will help those people to a more wholesome and abundant life. Other projects in North Carolina have been a Peace Garden Project and a library in Pakistan.
Each year for the past several years our club women in cooperation with a local bank have sent a representative to the United Nations Assembly. These women have been chosen for leadership and have brought back first hand information on their visits to the United Nations. Two women from each county will go as delegates this year to this international gathering of those who are inspired with the hope of building lasting peace so that all people may develop and the dignity of man be realized.
Our Home Demonstration Club women have entertained foreign students in their homes and some of our young people have visited other countries as representatives of rural youth. Many North Carolina women have also attended international conventions. These exchanges of students and delegates will be helpful for future developments toward world peace. Through these exchanges we have learned much about the culture, traditions, and accomplishments of those of divergent races and nations. An understanding of their hopes, desires, and aims will help to lessen fears, enmity, and suspicion.
In addition to the cooperative efforts that I have already mentioned, our Home Demonstration Clubs help to promote world peace by building better individuals. If all of our 43,353 members in North Carolina can help to create happy homes, made up of the peace loving individuals, our communities, state, and nation will be strengthened. The world, torn by many wars, is looking to our nation for leadership in world peace and brotherhood. Let us join whole heartedly in every effort toward better understanding. May we never feel that war is inevitable. Peace will come when men and women sincerely and unselfishly desire and seek it. Our goal is high but it is worth the effort. By electing men and women of high ideals to lead our nation, by our prayers for global peace, and by practical signs that we believe in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man can the bonds of world peace be strengthened.