JULY 22, 1942
ASHEVILLE, N.C., Tuesday—I reached Asheville, N. C., yesterday, but I think I will postpone until tomorrow what I have to tell you about the International Student Service Summer Institute, as I should like to give a complete picture of what is happening here. In the meantime, there are several things I would like to tell you.
I mentioned in one of my columns the state banks of Holland, which make loans on a character basis, and Mr. Harry R. Langdon of New York City has written to tell me about the Municipal Credit Union to which 29,000 government employees belong in New York City. Recent changes make it possible to consolidate the loans to these employees without any endorsement whatever.
The interest rate paid to investors has been lowered, and at the same time the interest paid on loans by employees has been decreased, and the present interest rate is the lowest in the country. This Credit Union has passed the $5,000,000 mark, and in a magazine called "The Bridge," which is the official publication of the Credit Union National Association, Inc., there is an account of 25 years of service to government employees.
These Credit Unions are growing all over the country, but they do not serve quite the same purpose since they are open only to certain groups of employees, and cannot be used by the average citizen in a community. These average citizens without credit unions also need such service.
Mr. Langdon also tells me of an interesting project known as the Greater New York Neighborhood Athletic Association, which sponsors a physical fitness program among working boys. On Aug. 2, at Randall's Island, they will hold a relay carnival for the various district groups throughout the five boroughs in the City of New York. There is no question but what a program of this kind is of great value to boys who are at work, and cannot afford the kind of athletics which would cost them much money. I think, of course, this same thing should be done also for the girls of the City.
I feel sure that throughout this country there are many cities now promoting programs such as these, perhaps through the efforts of Mr. John Kelly's physical fitness program, which was started to help in the war effort. Such a program certainly belongs in the all-year round effort of every municipality or area interested in the health of its citizens.