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What more than an Emergency Agency
Is the Y. M. C. A.?
By Lyman L. Pierce
WANT to illustrate what I in the Civil War as the “Christian mean by an emergency agency Commission.” It was with the Japan
and then point out what the ese Army all through the war with progressive Association man aspires Russia. It was in every camp and to make of the Y. M. C. A. The naval station in the war with Spain. world has called on the Associa- Since then, it has been in every camp tion in many an emergency. It was and naval station of the regular army
The Swimming Pool
and navy as a permanent agency. It morale at home. The “Y” kept them has been one of the greatest factors of constantly reminded of the home letDemocracy in the far East, where it ters. The “Y” shipped enough letter is the clearing house of inter-denomi- paper to Europe to reach three times national activities. It is today work- around the earth. 305,290,631 sheets ing wonders in the new-born nation of of letter paper have been supplied to Europe.
the A. E. F. alone. In the last war it was drafted to meet The men wanted a chance to play. the greatest emergency in the lives of The "Y" supplied the A. E. F. with men that the world has yet known. 152,776 baseball bats. The “Y” supThe men needed entertainment. The plied them with 640,420 baseballs, all answer of the Association has been free; enough to supply the National 56,724,000 feet of movie film overseas and American leagues, using five balls in a single month; 10,743 miles of it- per game, for 103 years. The “Y” enough each month to reach from supplied them with 74,474 footballs, New York to Sydney, Australia - 96,890 playground balls, 20,405 basenough for 9,354 movie shows, which ketballs, and 15,171 pairs of boxing would have cost the boys $1,000,000 gloves, all at a cost of $1,630,000 and over here, but which was free over all free. Association trained athletic there. This is in addition to thous- directors went over to stimulate prosands of vaudeville shows by the best grams and help in directing sports.. artists. It is only an incident in the The men needed a warm place for big program.
recreation, writing, reading and enterThese men in the army and navy tainment. The “Y” provided 3,356 were the best instruments to maintain such places for the A. E. F. and Al
lied Armies. Sometimes for a single these transports $630,574 worth of brigade it was necessary to have sev- complete equipment for free use in eral such places in a month because of transit. 2,750,000 men have been the movements of the brigade. Seven served on ocean transports. Until the portable sawmills helped turn out the signing of the Armistice, November lumber needed. The coal used cost 11th, the “Y” was the only organizafrom $70 to $100 per ton.
tion to have representatives permaThe "Y" from the first has planned nently assigned to army transports. to meet the emergency needs of men This does not take into consideration in transit. The importance to morale the great huts at Chicago, St. Louis, of the first journey to the camps was Pittsburg, and other transfer centers. apparent; so a "Y" secretary was put At Hoboken, the great port of emon every troop train. There is at least barkation and debarkation, six buildone "Y" man with every troop train ings are used by the “Y," five rented, now, for the men who are coming and one the largest "Y" hut in home. Since July, 1917, the "Y" has America. In April, alone, these huts manned 6,662 troop trains carrying a at Hoboken served 276,100 men. This total of 3,906,000 soldiers covering and work like this, shows how the 6,600,000 miles. Every troop train Young Men's Christian Association has been supplied with stationery, meets the emergency calls. reading material, music and games, The Association movement was esalways free.
tablished by a young draper's clerk in Since March 4, 1918, 1,381 "Y" sec- London to meet the social and spiritretaries have sailed on 971 sailings of ual emergency in the lives of a small troop ships. They have supplied to group of his fellow clerks, who were