Franklin D. Roosevelt

Radio Address for the Community Mobilization for Human Needs.

October 05, 1942

My friends and fellow Americans:

Tonight a mighty Community Mobilization begins, a voluntary mobilization of the forces of human kindness and decency. In more than 600 American cities, gifts for foreign war relief and for community services at home will be gathered by the experienced hands of community chests and war chests. The two great labor organizations of the Nation will give full cooperation to this work. And hundreds of thousands of citizens will give freely of their time and talents for the success of these campaigns.

You have been accustomed for many years to showing your concern for the welfare of your own neighbors through contributions to your community chest; and also we must stretch a handclasp of hope and courage across the seas.

We must transform some of our new buying power into giving power as we face redoubled needs on every hand at home and abroad; and prepare to pull our belts tighter for the hard fight ahead.

For most of us this year, giving will not be easy. War needs exact a heavy toll, not only on the fighting front but in the personal lives and fortunes of every one of us. But your giving will provide not alone strength for our Nation at war; but proof, in a world of violence and greed, that the American people keep faith with democracy, that we hold inviolate our belief in the infinite worth of the individual human being.

Your gift may give new heart to courageous families bombed out of their homes in many places; it may add to the precious store of medicines in a distant hospital or speed a shipload of food to a little Nation, whose people are dropping in the streets from starvation. It may strengthen the hands of brave allies fighting our common foe. It may help a busy mother, working in war industry in your own town, to take proper care of her family. It may speed on her rounds a visiting nurse who is carrying a double load because so many of her profession are now with the armed forces. And it will help your community to give hospitality to soldiers, sailors, and marines on a precious few-days leave, or on their way to some distant battle line.

Your gift must take account, also, of the continuing needs of the sick, the crippled child, the boys and girls whose homes are not adequate to their needs; the dependent, and the unfortunate in your own neighborhoods, whose troubles have not lessened with the new worries and needs which war has brought.

Upon each one of you who listens tonight- upon you as an individual—in your own cities and towns and farms throughout this vast country, rests the success or the failure of these campaigns.

And so in generous giving, we will affirm before the world our Nation's faith in the inalienable right of every man to a life of freedom, and justice and decent security. Every successful community chest, and every war chest campaign will be another step toward the eventual victory of humanity and civilization.

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

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