Handicraft Contest SPURRED by Red Cross (Mar, 1946)

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Handicraft Contest SPURRED by Red Cross

ENTRIES pouring in for the Popular Science Servicemen’s Handicraft Contest from all over the world now indicate that the judges are going to have a hard job to pick the prize winners. The excellence of the craftwork is partly the result of the encouragement and instruction that servicemen have received from the Red Cross, which is now conducting its 1946 National Fund Campaign.

Many different kinds of handiwork have been produced by the men and women of the armed forces with the help of Red Cross staff and volunteer workers. Hospitalized soldiers in New Caledonia made bark and canvas into scrapbooks. A serviceman in the Russell Islands of the Solomon group carved a baton out of teakwood for a friend who led an orchestra. Then, in Kwajalein, a man from Texas started a fad by weaving a mat of raffia and painting a native scene on it in oils.

Soldiers in the hospitals of the Persian Gulf Command did not feel that they were sissies because they went in for needlework and embroidery. They kept their hands and minds busy; and the humor of the thing appealed to them. Battle-scarred infantrymen in southeastern Asia learned to improve their time during convalescence by making beads out of jungle seeds, weaving local grass and crude silk, tooling leather, and making jewelry.

Today as thousands of fighters are recuperating in hospitals, the Red Cross is leading the way for complete rehabilitation. Handicraft projects are helping, and it is PSM’s purpose to encourage them. Entries for the Contest must be mailed or otherwise shipped not later than 6 p.m. on Monday, April 1; but to allow for transit from remote places, the deadline for the receipt of entries will be 6 p.m., April 30.

Then the judges will get busy: Frances Langford, favorite entertainer of many thousands of servicemen and women; Brig. Gen. Georges F. Doriot, Rear Adm. Harold B. Miller, Sgt. Merle D. Miller, Maj. Walter W. Hitesman, Jr.; Maj. Nathaniel Salton-stall, chief of the Handicraft Branch of Army Service Forces; and Mrs. Cass Can-field, a famed sculptress, former national director of the Arts and Skills Corps of the American Red Cross, and now adviser to the Corps in the North Atlantic Area.

The pictures reproduced on these two pages were taken by the Red Cross in hospitals both in this country and overseas. The activities they show are only a small part of those aided by the agencies at work in this field.

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