December 24, 1908


All the Children Need Do Tomorrow
Is Apply at Convention Hall.
There's Plenty for

Convention hall yesterday resembled many lines of business. In one section where all the bananas and oranges were being placed into sacks, it looked something like a fruit packing establishment. Another section resembled candy packers at work, while still another had to do with the sorting and arranging of toys. It had the appearance of one great combined establishment where every line of goods was handled and everybody was busy.

There was a rumor out yesterday that the gifts were to be only for white children. This is wrong, as the committee says the color line will not be drawn. Poor negro children are to be made happy, too, and they are all invited.

At the close of the evening the first 2,500 bags to be given out on Christmas day to the children who attend the mayor's Christmas tree, were well filled, sorted for boys and girls and placed in position. The other 2,500 will be packed today. Women from the different charitable organizations were doing most of the work.

It was discovered when it came to placing the trees in position that five would take up too much room and that the decorating of them would take up entirely too much time -- in fact that it would be an imposition on the Squires Electrical Company, which his donating the labor. Something had to be done on the spur of the moment, so the committee in charge decided that two large trees would be sufficient, as no presents are to be placed on the trees anyway. The two large evergreens were placed in position in the center of the hall about noon yesterday and by evening the men from the electrical company had finished stringing the colored lights. They were tested just after dark and found to be in perfect working order. Today the tinsel and other decorations will be strung under the supervision of the women who have the matter in charge.


Some of the toys bought by the committee are really expensive and of fine workmanship. There will be enough to place a good and a cheap toy in each bag.

Among the toys are several mechanical banks where a coin is placed in the mouth of an animal, which immediately devours it. A carpenter connected with the hall tried one of them Tuesday night with a dime -- the last coin he had, too, by the way. It was swallowed and the carpenter walked home. Several others were caught on the same trick yesterday, and some poor child -- no one knows who it will be -- will find some news in his bank.

A large wagon load of toys and useful things such as baby carriages, bicycles, wagons, etc., arrived yesterday from Montgomery Wart & Co. They will be distributed in homes where they are most needed the day after Christmas.

The Long Bros. Grocery Company sent two dozen big dressed dolls. They will also be given out at the homes, as will 200 pairs of baby stockings donated by The Baby Shop, 202 Lillis building. The wholesale dry goods merchants, besides other donations, sent two large boxes of boys' and girls' socks, stockings, gloves and mittens to the hall yesterday, and the Faxon & Gallagher Drug Company sent three big boxes of toys.


Grocery stores are still responding liberally, and one room which has been set aside at the hall looks like a general store. Among the donations are bunches of fresh celery and a lot of onions. Several big jack rabbits were also received. The George B. Peck Dry Goods Company sent a lot of fancy toys and two caddies of assorted candy. The Loose-Wiles Candy and Cracker Company's wagon arrived with six caddies of assorted candies. The Coal Dealers' Association donated $150 in cash and many of its members said they stood ready to deliver coal to families where it was most needed.

Two women waited on the outside of the hall for a long while yesterday morning. They seemed to want something, but were afraid to go in and ask. Finally Steve Sedweek approached them and asked if they wanted anything.

"Yes, we do," said one of them. "We are poor and have nothing for Christmas. We read in The Journal where all poor children would be welcomed here. I have seven and this woman has five. We want to know how to get them in h ere, and if all can come."

"Just you bring all you have and all you can find in the neighborhood, or in any other neighborhood," instructed Mr. Sedweek. "Bring them right here to the hall and they will be given tickets and admitted."

"And I know of others, too," said the first woman who had spoken.

"That's what it is for," they were told, "bring fifty if you can find them, and each one will be made happy.


Many children flocked about the hall yesterday asking where they could get tickets that would admit them to the mayor's Christmas tree. They were told to be there Christmas afternoon -- with all their playmates -- and that tickets would be given them. Many of them stole timidly into the rotunda of the hall and took a peek through the cracks at what was going on. They would run away ever time any of the grown ups put in an appearance, afraid they would be corrected for it. But they had seen a little of the glories that are to come, anyway, and they left happy.

The work of distributing groceries, clothing and toys to the homes will take place Saturday, and even on Monday, if it is not completed. Letters asking aid are arriving fast.