If anyone has been brought up so wrapped in cotton that he, like the famous dauphin, cannot see why the poor do not eat cake when they cannot get bread, he should read the stories now published daily in the New York Times about the Hundred Neediest Cases in that great city. If after reading a few of these tragedies his spirit is not humbled, then his case is hopeless.
But moral chastisement is not the only thing to be derived from the page. There is also a lesson in unadulterated charity, which perhaps passes unnoticed. This year is the twelfth year in which the New York Times has carried on its Christmas campaign for the poor. It has devoted editorial space and news space daily to booming this charity drive; it has financed the work of looking up many of the cases, of keeping the books, of distributing the benefits, while in material returns it gains nothing. It has so increased subscriptions that since 1916 it has been able to give benefits to two hundred instead of one hundred neediest cases
The New York Times is no official charity organization. It is part of a great industry seeking news, spreading news, molding public opinion, and therewith gaining its livelihood. The "Hundred Neediest Cases" it has undertaken in its non-official character, but it has made the work one of the most notable achievements of that nature today.