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Preserving The Past For The World

By Terry D. Janes


Dear Reader,

          Today, I would like to tell you about a wonderful organization that is very dear to my heart, which I've known about for many years, and one, which you may or may not be aware of.  This organization is called The Second World War Experience Centre, and it is run by a small staff of genuinely nice, dedicated people whose mission it is to preserve the memories of all who lived through World War Two.  There are many oral history organizations and projects here in the US, but most are just focused on US military veterans.  What I love about The Second World War Experience Centre is that its goal is to preserve not just the memories of those who fought in the war, but everyone who lived through those dark days.  And better still, they are open to people of all nations and walks of life, from a farm-girl who tended sheep to feed the public, to generals who led armies, and everyone in between.  Not only do they preserve the memories of Allied nations, but also people from the Axis nations of Germany and Japan.  In short, nothing and no one is too small or unimportant to this wonderful group.  Time marches on all too rapidly, and before long, there will not be anyone left alive who lived through that time period.  It is in the best interests of the future citizens of the world to have a clear, honest record of what it was like to live through World War Two, and the great people at The Second World War Experience Centre have taken on the tough and noble task of seeing to it that these memories are forever preserved for posterity.


The Centre needs you, and your help in any way you can offer it.  They need the donations of memories, documents, letters, diaries, etc.  They need volunteers to help preserve the information they gather.  And because they are a non-profit organization, they also need money to continue their noble work.  Whether you make a one-time donation of whatever you can afford, or you become a member who provides continuing support, or even leave them a legacy in your will, the Centre can put your help to the best use.  Nothing is too small, and every little bit helps.  You can be sure that your donations are not wasted either.  This is not some huge charity in ivory towers with over-paid executives, either.  The Centre is run mostly by volunteers with a very small, modestly-paid staff who works very hard to get the most out of the little funding they do get, to carry out their mission.  I am a strict skeptic about many charities in today's world, who are really just for-profit businesses in sheep's clothing.  Not so, with The Second World War Experience Centre.  I would not take it upon myself to endorse this organization if I did not sincerely believe in both their mission and the way they run things.  These are great people, doing great work for all of us.


If you are an American citizen or corporation, and you would like to get a tax-deduction for your contribution, The Second World War Experience Centre is a registered charity in the US with Charities Aid Foundation America (CAFAmerica), and donations made through them are fully tax deductible.  CAFAmerica is a clearinghouse, which helps distribute donations to international charities, yet is accepted by the IRS so that you can deduct your donation from your taxes just like donating to a US charity.  Please note that CAFAmerica takes a percentage of your donation for themselves as administrative costs.  If a tax deduction is not important to you, and you'd like to see the Centre get the full benefit of your donation, then you can donate directly to The Second World War Experience Centre and the entire donation will go to them and get the best use.  There are several ways you can donate, and I will include information on that below.  If you become a member of the Friends of the Centre, there is a side-benefit of getting a subscription to a very wonderful Journal that they publish.  The Journal is a very well done magazine that contains interesting articles on World War Two.  The articles vary greatly in scope and subject, and are always a fascinating read.  A year ago, even I wrote an article for the Journal for their Normandy issue, which focused on D-Day and the Normandy Campaign of the war.


Look in your closet, look into your memories, look into your heart, and then help these wonderful people preserve the past so that your children and grandchildren will know and understand World War Two, and how it not only affected those who lived through it, but how it changed the world.  You'll be glad you did, and so will our future citizens of the world.


One more thing: After posting this article, I was contacted by a World War Two combat veteran, who expressed his sorrow that with his fixed income pension, he could not donate money to the Centre. I explained to him that he could make a simple donation of his memories, and it need not cost him a dime. Folks, that is what the mission of The Second World War Experience Centre is all about. We want veterans, and anyone else who lived through World War Two to contribute their memories so the rest of us can learn from them. We younger people can donate the money needed to keep the Centre going. If you are a person like this veteran, and can't help out financially, don't let that stop you. You can donate your memories and mementos without it costing you a dime. Visit the Centre's website, and contact them by email, and send your memories in like that. And if you can help them financially, that is welcome too!







You Can Save And Print The Form Below





 The Second World War Experience Centre

The Second World War Experience Centre was created to save a crucial part of our heritage. The tale of all men and women during the Second World War is of absorbing interest and teaches vital lessons about our past. We have an obligation to join in rescuing all the material we can about this most terrible of conflicts before it is too late. The Centre is concerned not only with prominent soldiers, sailors and airmen, but with the daily civilian and military experience of all manner of men, women and children in wartime. The Centre is collecting evidence, for example, on factory and farm workers, and on industrial management and government service; their interests embrace conscientious objectors, prisoners of war (Italian and German as well as Allied) and the experience of non-British servicemen and civilians, both Allied and Axis. They are devoting particular attention to Anglo-American co-operation in Britain and the war theatres and the interaction of the American servicemen with the British population; to Jewish experience; and to the work of peoples of the former British Empire who fought in the War - from the West Indies, the Indian Sub-Continent, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other parts of Africa, Asia and the New World.



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