It was at Stoke-on-trent, not long ago, that the writer happened to attend a meeting of a particularly interesting, but at the same time pathetic character. A number of prominent local residents were present, and they listened with intentness to the annual report of one of the most praiseworthy of charitable institutions - i.e., the Potteries Cripples' Guild.
A Lady Bountiful
Here was philanthropy presented in a really practical form. The report showed how 350 boys and girls, physically handicapped, were being taught to make themselves independent and self-supporting. "Tiny Tims," with deformed limbs and bodies, were being made into clever craftsmen (capable of turning out beautiful metal-work), printers, and bookbinders; while their equally unfortunate sisters were being taught the arts of making artificial flowers and basket-work. The majority of the children are in desperately poor homes, and need nourishing food, clothes, surgical appliances, change of scene and air, and some light work, and most of these, as well as the advantages of convalescent homes, they get by joining the guild.
The founder of this splendid scheme, the Duchess of Sutherland, sat on the platform listening to the report being read, and the successful manner in which she has carried out her idea is a wonderful tribute to her organising skill.