I HAVE found from experience that you get little satisfaction from your voluntary work if you are connected with too many organizations at once. You can only give of your very best to one club at a time, so choose the one which best suits your interests and hobbies, and go all out to make a success of it.
I maintain diat all housewives should have an outside interest. It broadens their outlook, makes them keep up their appearance and makes them easier to live with. The one thing housewives must not do is to sit down and pity themselves. It is so easy for that to happen when a housewife is so much on her own. Unless an effort is made she will get into a lonely rut, have no peace of mind, and be a trouble not only to herself but to others. No one can help her but herself – that’s a good rule to remember. Fortunately, women are becoming more and more club-minded.
If you are a great church-worker you could not do better than join the young folk’s youth movements, or the young mothers’ union. All information about church club activities can be obtained from the local parson. The ‘Friendship Club ‘for young mothers combines a social and useful purpose.
The womenfolk in rural districts take a keen interest in their local branch of the Women’s Institutes. The National Federation of Women’s Institutes is to be found in every village and small town. There are over seven thousand of them throughout England and Wales and their main aim is to encourage the growing and preservation of as much food as possible. They show housewives how to preserve and can their produce, as well as aid them in fine social ways, and teach them handicrafts.
In the city and the town the Townswomen’s Guilds are a fine institution, and teach housewives much about local government, about cookery and handicrafts, and at the same time do a great deal of good work to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Many a family woman like myself is a member of a little neighbourly club and we meet mostly in each other’s homes. These little clubs are non-political and non-religious and are a sort of carry-over from war days when women found that pooling ideas and rations helped so much. We have adopted a few orphans, a few old-age pensioners, we have a baby-sitter and a cookery service, a library of homecraft books, and we have talks from experts on all sorts of subjects.
A club of this sort can be started by six or more interested housewives. Fimds are soon built up by making a small charge for tea and having a raffle at each meeting.
Welfare work is most interesting and a woman who gives up a little of her time to this is doing a fine job. Local Councils are only too pleased to get offers to help with welfare work from housewives with a little time to spare.
If you are active in your club, sooner or later you will be asked to speak. It is not such a frightful ordeal.
Never get up to speak wearing high heels – wear flat-heeled shoes and stand still. Have a hat off the forehead so that the audience can see your face. Hold something in your hand, even if it is only a pencil. Don’t speak from notes – be yourself and talk naturally. Try to include a joke or two – and, above all else, choose a subject you know well.
You may be elected to the committee of a club, but don’t take it on unless you can attend the committee meetings and take your full share of the workings of the club.
You may be asked to suggest subjects for future meetings. Suggest that the club start a library; give a club party; have a hat-trimming competition; that the club members learn French; that club members each write a friendship letter to another country every week
Try to make your suggestions original and of a kind likely to appeal to the greatest number of people. You may be asked to conduct a meeting by yourself. You would score a great success as a speaker if you told your audience some of the following interesting things about shops and shopping.
Bargains in windows are always placed on or near the base of the window. This is because those seeking bargains look low.
There may be a line that you fancy in a corner of a window. It was placed there so that you would fancy it. Many window-dressers employ this trick of making an onlooker think she has spotted a bargain.
Next time you examine a window display of goods note how the items are arranged according to their price, the lowest price to the base of the window.
Those buying a medium-priced item usually walk along the street looking exactly in front of them, so items to appeal to them must be in the centre positions in a window. Those buying higher-priced s;oods always look high.
Medium-priced items are a shop’s best-sellers – that is why they occupy the centre-line eye-level in a window, for the average person looking on this level is the main buyer in shops.
Never throw away your bill – you may want an exchange, an alteration, or a reference, so it is good to file all bills for a time.
Become a regular customer at a gown shop. The assistants take a greater interest in your requirements after you have visited them a few times, and will help with your personal problems.
Set out to buy a gift with your mind made up about what you intend buying.
Gifts to be sent by post are best if they are flat, lieht, easy to wrap and unbreakable – and they will also be easy on postage.
Never make the mistake of giving another woman a personal dress item of your choice. If your gift must be personal, let her choose it.
You will find that women will listen for hours to talks of this type – any talks connected with home, shops or children always go down well at clubs.