World War I in Lawrence: Journal-World starts tobacco fund for soldiers

On Oct. 20, 1917, the Journal-World announced a new way for citizens on the home front to ease the trials of U.S. soldiers serving overseas:

“To make the soldiers in the trenches a little more happy and to add pleasure to their idle hours, the Journal-World is today starting a Tobacco Fund for the soldiers. A national organization has been formed with which the Journal-World is cooperating and every cent of the money collected is to be spent in purchasing tobacco for delivery to the soldiers. A special tobacco kit containing forty-five cents’ worth of tobacco is to be sent for each twenty-five cent contribution to this fund…. Every person interested in adding enjoyment to the life of the soldier who has been accustomed to smoking will bring or send a contribution of twenty-five cents or more to the Journal-World office. The name of the contributor will be listed, and money, together with the names, will be sent to the American Tobacco Company with instructions to send a special tobacco kit direct to a soldier for each twenty-five cent contribution. In this kit is a return postal card which will be addressed to the person making the donation by the soldier receiving the kit. In this way the contributor will know that his money has made some soldier happy and will have the name of the soldier made happy by his donation. The fund will be started at once and the kits will be sent to the soldiers as soon as the money begins to come in…. Before starting this campaign the Journal-World discussed the matter in all its phases with ministers, Y. M. C. A. officers and many others. As the result of these several discussions the policy of making the life of the soldier more of a pleasure was decided upon.”