Some of the proceeds are devoted to special philanthropic schemes. For Great Britain, for example, the Ottershaw Homes for Destitute Children, near Chertsey, are supported by the League, under the supervision of Lady Meath, who has a country house in the neighbourhood. They consist of a Girls' Home, Boys' Home, and Little Boys' Home. There is also a Sanatorium and an Infant School at Ottershaw. Other institutions supported by the M.c.l. in England are a Convalescent Home for Children, Exmouth; a Home for Epileptic Children and Convalescents, Hay-ling Island, Hants; and a Coffee House at Richmond.
In Canada a Convalescent Home for Children has been built at Ottawa; in the United States a chapel has been provided for Red Indians, at South Dakota, and the squaws are as eager as English mothers to have their little ones trained in the Christian spirit of ministry; in Australasia a Free Kindergarten and four Convalescent Homes have been founded; at Berlin a Creche has been provided by the League; at Alexandria an Industrial School for the Blind; and in far-off Russia and Finland a beautiful work has been done in providing several Orphanages and Refuges for Prisoners' Children. There are also Baron von Bux-hoevden's Children's Memorial Home at Peterhof; and the Hapsal, Olga Heim, and Free Kindergarten for Necessitous Children.
This quarter of a century of " coining kindness," as Lady Meath expresses it, shows remarkable results in the number of benevolent agencies which it has founded.
One of the most novel and interesting schemes started by a local branch is the Toy Hospital, founded by the branch of the Ministering Children's League connected with St. Matthew's, Ealing Common.
It occurred to the Rev. H. C. Douglass, vicar of St. Matthew's, that very useful and engrossing work for the boys of the League might be found in mending old toys, which would prove, in their resuscitated condition, a joy to many poor children. So the Toy Hospital was started, children were invited to send their damaged treasures of all kinds-soldiers, engines, carts, dolls, drums, guns, tops, puzzles, etc., and soon the "wards" of the hospital were full of patients. Volunteer doctors and surgeons were not wanting, and many boys were willing to give up an afternoon's cricket or football to learn the fascinating art of toy-mending; and the girls were ready with their needles and thread to stitch up the wounds and make the dressings. They all worked with a will amongst the "sad cases" to: "Mend the mischief wrought on them,
With hammer, saw, and plane;
Mend the dulness brought on them,
With varnish, paint, and stain;
Mend and make them minister to childhood's joy again."
The chief surgeon increases his staff every time the hospital opens, and boys in their 'teens find the work quite engrossing. The cures effected are marvellous, fit to make our cleverest surgeons green with envy. Imagine, for example, an elegant waxen creature with a gaping wound in her cranium ! "Case quite hopeless," murmurs the specialist. "Let me try," says one of our young "ministering" surgeons. And he stuffs the wound with shavings, covers it with tissue-paper, paints it over, glues on the ugly spot a fascinating curl of hair, and
Mrs. Arthur Philip, the organising secretary of the league in Great Britain. The league has branches and members in every part of the world Minna Keene the operation is complete. Nimble fingers dress her, and Miss Dolly leaves the Toy Hospital to be the joy of some lonely child suffering in a real hospital.
The Gordon Division of the League has been started for older boys, and for members of Boys' School Branches. Lord Meath is President of this division, and takes a keen interest in stimulating the activities of the members with their collecting cards, and in various forms of work.
Lady Meath has travelled in all quarters of the globe to extend the work of the M.c.l., and a very interesting development has been the introduction of the work into Japan and the Far East, where Lord and Lady Meath had a very encouraging tour in 1909-10. Until then, with the exception of a branch at Hong Kong, the society was practically unknown in Eastern lands. By means of visits to the mission-houses and schools, and the holding of meetings, Lady Meath was soon able to interest the Japanese in her work. With the help of Mrs, Foss, wife of the Bishop of Osaka, the society was introduced into Kobe, and branches have now been formed in Tokio, Yokohama, and other Japanese towns.
In China, Lady Meath was equally successful. She visited Shanghai and Hong Kong, and had the happiness of seeing the work taken up most heartily. In the Straits Settlements, Penang has led the way in establishing a large branch, and Singapore is following:" Bishop Brent has introduced the society into the Philippine Islands. Lady Meath has indeed girdled the world with ministering children.
Her helpers are in every clime, and special mention may be made of the devoted work of the late Miss Calder in Australasia; while at home the organising secretary, Mrs. Arthur Philip, is a name to conjure with, and known all over the world to members of the M.c.l. The secretarial offices are at 83, Lancaster Gate, London, W., where information can be obtained.
The following prayer has been drawn up in the hope that it may be used by all members of the League every Sunday:
"Loving Father, make me like the Holy Child Jesus, a ministering child, loving, kind and useful to others, Teach me to feel for the poor and suffering, and may I be ready to do what I can to help all who are in need. For Jesus' sake Amen."