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VOLUNTARY WAR RELIEF   203

The work of the societies included in the second class needs a somewhat closer study since the existence of these organizations is in some degree peculiar to Canadian social life.

The various women's organizations speedily "orientated" themselves to meet the new demands for work and funds presented by the war, and adjusted their programmes in order to undertake that description of war work most suited to their members.

The mission boards, with their auxiliary branches in the churches, could not abandon the support of work to which they were already pledged, and their members were quick to see that the mere transference of a subscription from the salary of a Canadian missionary to the relief of a Canadian soldier involved no sacrifice from the donor, and could hardly be reckoned as a "patriotic" subscription. But there was a general desire to take stock of expenditures in church work so as to release all but absolutely necessary funds for the new calls. Get "subscriptions as usual" was the watch-word of the great majority of the members, even though the policy involved in many instances a large measure of self-denial. For the same women who in days of peace were to be found in the Church Dorcas Societies were usually the backbone of the Red Cross and Patriotic sewing circles in time of war. It is probably well within the truth to say that every body of organized women took some share in the preparation of material supplies, hospital necessities, or comforts for the fighting men—and many also undertook the education of public opinion by means of the distribution of literature, or by lectures, reading, and discussions. Even the smaller coteries, organized specifically for self-improvement, turned their attention to making garments, and proved conclusively that an interest in literature, art, or history does not exclude efficiency in handiwork. Such organizations as the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the various Franchise Societies, adapted rather


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