As the mother of six children, Mrs Roosevelt understood children and especially what it meant to be a mother. She knew that all children needed to be loved. With an open heart, she took the role of a mother to all children and youth who were weak and weary. When Mrs. Roosevelt joined the Democratic subcommittee, she worked together with others to approve the Child Labor Ratification. Increased appropriations to the Children's and Women's bureaus of the Department of Labor were demanded. They called for aid to infants and their mothers. This was the first federal health and welfare program in the nation's history.
During the 1930s there were many youth demonstrations and groups. They included the American Youth Congress (AYC) . Although this group was clearly connected to the Young Communist League, Mrs. Roosevelt continued to earnestly contact the youth. She was to be an open ear to their opinions of life. She emerged as a link between the New Deal and the youth leaders. Although they differed in many opinions, Mrs. Roosevelt continued to work together with the youth, so as not to severe her ties. She was eventually respected not because of her ideas but because of her sympathetic and brave heart.
Lending a Hand
Eleanor Roosevelt could never see someone in need and not help them. She was like a mother to those in need. If someone wanted something badly and they asked her they would be sure to get it. Within her years in the White House, Mrs. Roosevelt helped many of those who could not help themselves. During the years of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt and his administration weren't the only one's seeking to help the American people.
Mrs. Roosevelt dedicated much of her time trying to come up with ideas on how to help young single women and minorities who were also suffering from the Great Depression (on the other hand, FDR and his people thought that it was only necessary to find jobs for those who were white. During the Depression she was very concerned for women. She funded the opening of a women's camp much like the camps that that FDR had opened for young men. These camps were entitled the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Mrs. Roosevelt tried very hard to replicate these camps for single women the government could not or would not help.
During the early years of the Depression the first lady also helped a lot of journalists to keep their jobs. She insisted that during her briefings with the press that she would only speak to women journalists and no one else, because of this many women newspaper reporters were able to keep their jobs. Also during the Depression the White House received so many letters asking for assistance that it was quite amazing. Thousands of letters came pouring in each day and the first lady took time to answer as many of them as she could, with the help of her personal secretaries. Some of the letters were heart-wrenching pleas for food, clothes, shelter or some other necessity of life. Some of the letters read as follows: "Among your friends do you know of one who is discarding a spring coat for a new one. If so could you beg the old one for me? I wear a size 40 to 42, wrote one woman from Kansas. Another wrote, "I am greatly in need of a coat... I wear a size 36 or 38... I assure you I am worthy of any help you render," this writer begged for anonymity. "I haven't had a new coat in 16 years so please don't think me unworthy." I do not wish my children to be ashamed of me."
Mrs. Roosevelt's care for those around is very clear. There were no spear coats hanging around the White House so naturally she could not just pick one up and send it to these women, instead she wrote personal checks for them to buy their own coats. Although she tried her best to be good to everyone, people did not always extend the same courtesy to her. Once in a while she would figure out that she was being duped but that did not stop her from helping someone else out there who really needed it.