According to “Service with Fighting Men” by Taft and Harris, these ford trucks were staffed by two secretaries and equipped with reading materials, games, motion picture equipment, and a dynamo to run the equipment. These vehicles allowed the YMCA to access people and outputs otherwise out of range. In the late 19th and early 20th century, mineral deposits attracted settlers who worked in the mines, farmed, or logged. Settlements sprang up around the mines, although these were often no more than clusters of families. During World War I, the Association assumed military responsibilities on a scale that had never been attempted by a nonprofit, community-based organization. At the end of World War I, William Howard Taft wrote: “The American Young Men's Christian Association in its welfare work served between four and five millions of American soldiers and sailors, at home and overseas. As General Pershing has said, it conducted nine-tenths of the welfare work among the American forces in Europe. Moreover, alone among American welfare societies, this organization, first and last, ministered to not less than nineteen millions of the soldiers of the Allied Armies and extended its helpful activities to over five millions of prisoners of war. Its operations were conducted on western, southern, and eastern fronts in Europe; in northern and eastern Africa; in western, southern, and eastern Asia; in North and South America; and in different parts of the island world.”
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