January 9, 1914.
My dear Miss Addams: --
December was a forbidding month financially. A heavy deficit had been carried for three months by my own personal advances. The prospects for any surplus for Christmas Festivities, after meeting the bare maintenance, were dismal.
We could not endure the thought of disappointing the children's simple expectations of receiving a little personal token at each of our Christmas parties. So the middle of the month I sent out a Christmas appeal to former residents and some former students now in the pastorate of suburban and country churches. They responded so promptly, that with their help and a little [cooperation] of a few others, the small contributions from many individuals and Sunday-Schools saved the day.
During the last sixteen days of the month we received $802 from 103 individuals and 14 Sunday-Schools, representing 41 places. And besides, enough groceries, provisions, fruits, toys and clothing were received to fill Christmas baskets, and meet some needs of families suffering from sickness and unemployment.
We had a fortnight of Christmas parties, in which about 2,000 different individuals participated. Each one of the 500 boys and 450 girls in the clubs received a box of candy, and the little children a few toys besides. So we made merry after all.
This response is very encouraging. It met the holiday expenses, so that with enough regular contributions to meet the current expenses of the month, we did not add to the deficit. This includes some long-standing bills due, for which we were not pressed by considerate creditors, and by personal advances of $1400, which carried the salary and current accounts. I am doing my best to reduce the debt in January and wish I could cancel it.
The frame cottages have been removed and we have received from the wreckers $150 for the material. At very little expense the ground has been graded and prepared for a little lawn, with small garden plots around the edge -- all for the use of the littlest children in the day nursery, kindergarten and immediate neighborhood next spring.