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VOLUNTARY WAR RELIEF   229

for the amount of work that is carried on. During the past year, 177,027 parcels have been sent out. In April, 1917, the plan was adopted of supplying every man, on his arrival in an English hospital from France, with a kit-bag containing toilet articles and other comforts. The men thoroughly appreciate this arrangement. About half of the kits come from Canada filled and ready to be sent out. A letter from a visitor says: "I would like to tell the ladies who prepare and pack those delightful kit-bags how delighted the men are to get them. Always after they have opened them: `Oh, thank you so much; these are just exactly the things we are needing,' they say to me, and look as pleased as school-boys. It is too bad that I, who have done none of the packing, etc., should get all the pleasure of giving them." Twenty cigarettes a week are sent to each man, and the visitor forwards any request he may make for other "comforts." When the men are very ill or have been "gassed," fruit and delicacies are sent them regularly; designs and silks for embroidery are becoming very popular; already this year three hundred books of instructions with material for making "soft, toys" have been given the men; in certain cases crutches, spinal and wheeled chairs are bought for their use and special boots are supplied in great numbers. Last Christmas 22,000 Christmas stockings were sent from Canada for men in hospital, and to these were added by this department 20,000 other gifts. Socks, jerseys, mittens, scarves, and many other "comforts" are sent over by Canadians, all showing how patiently and devotedly women at home are working to enable this department to carry on its work.

The Newspaper Department was opened in August, 1915, under the management of the Contessa Pignatorre, a member of a well-known Canadian family. Newspapers and weeklies are supplied through the kindness of publishers and a large number of private individuals. As many as forty-five large sacks of papers have been received in one Canadian mail. It is one of the duties


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