Franklin D. Roosevelt

Radio Address on Community Mobilization for Human Needs.

October 03, 1941

Once more I am making a straightforward, simple appeal to the people of our country to support a great annual event—the Community Mobilization for Human Needs. Many of you do not recognize this name but it represents the tying together of hundreds of local community efforts known as "community chests" or "community funds" or "welfare drives." These represent consolidations of many thousands of local charities run by churches, social welfare organizations, health associations, and many others.

The American people have given generously in the past—very generously.

But this year I hope the American people will give more than ever before.

That is because, in a great world threat to our future, we must, for ourselves and our country, preserve_ and make secure our values and the strength of our institutions.

It is true that more people are at work in our land today than ever before. It is true that our national income is rising. But it is still true that millions of our fellow citizens are still undernourished, ill clad and poorly housed. And bad health maims too many of our American households.

We must build up, not merely our Army and our Navy, but we must build up the well-being of our civilian population.

In past years we have done this through a great humanitarian revival. This year we must do it for the added reason that adequate national defense definitely needs it.

Once more I point out to you that the Federal Government cannot and ought not to try to cover the whole field of social service. Private agencies in every locality are essential not only for the good of the sick and the children and the mothers and the poor but they are of the utmost importance in instilling charity, or greater love of our fellow beings in the hearts of all of us as individuals.

We can afford to be better neighbors to our neighbors. We can afford to give support to those noble men and women whose lives are devoted to the help of their fellows.

It would be a calamity for the Nation and for its future if private charity did not exist and grow. That is why I am asking each and every person in every town and village and on every farm to contribute something, large or small, toward this great and proven service. You will be helping to build a stronger and a better America. When I have said that, I have said all that is necessary for it is a spiritual as well as a practical appeal to the better natures of my fellow citizens.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Radio Address on Community Mobilization for Human Needs. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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