Harry S. Truman photo

Radio Address Opening the Nationwide Community Chest Campaigns.

September 30, 1948

[Delivered in Louisville at 9:55 p.m.]

Good evening:

We Americans are a busy people--but we are never too busy to be good neighbors. This is especially important today.

Throughout the world we are striving to prove democracy's worth. One way in which we can do this is by example--by showing how the voluntary action of a free people, united by sympathy and understanding, can safeguard the common welfare.

The Community Chests of America are a practical demonstration of the democratic faith we profess. They both serve, and are served by, people from all ranks. Red Feather services are available to everyone, regardless of race, creed, or political belief. The civic-spirited citizens who work without pay as leaders and trustees of the Red Feather services are a cross-section of their communities. Business, labor, the professions, religious and racial groups are all included. The Red Feather campaign volunteers, too, come from all walks of life.

On this eve of another October--the Red Feather month more than a million volunteers are ready to begin their annual labor of love for their fellow men. The funds they must raise total $184 million. This great sum will be spent in 1,200 communities for more than 12,000 Red Feather services. This year another important activity has been added to the list of these services. To meet the needs of our expanding Armed Forces, the USO has been called back to duty. Wholesome recreation, entertainment, and the long arm of hometown concern will be provided for the youth of our new Army, Navy, and Air Forces by the new USO.

All these Red Feather community services, including the USO, contribute to our physical and spiritual health--to our family security--to our children's opportunity and to peace and friendship with all our neighbors. These are the benefits we can rightfully expect from a democratic way of living. These are the most convincing arguments for democracy that one nation can put before another.

When the people of a country like ours-free to act selfishly in their own interest-choose to act unselfishly in the common interest--this is democracy at its best.

In this campaign let us live up fully to the Red Feather slogan: "Everybody gives--and everybody benefits."

Harry S. Truman, Radio Address Opening the Nationwide Community Chest Campaigns. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233290

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