Radio and Television Remarks Opening the Nation's Community Chest Campaign.
[Broadcast from the White House at 10:55 p.m.]
My fellow Americans:
Next week, throughout the Nation, we are beginning our annual Red feather campaigns. In more than 1,600 towns and cities all across the country, the month of October marks the start of our united campaigns to raise voluntary funds for health and welfare services.
This annual drive is one of the finest and most important things that ever happens in America. When we open our hearts and our pocketbooks to meet the needs of others, we are at our best.
In this great land of ours, we live together as neighbors.
Over nineteen hundred years ago, Jesus Christ was asked the question: Who is my neighbor? He replied with the immortal story of the Good Samaritan--how he helped a stranger he found by the roadside, a man who had been robbed and beaten and left for dead. Our duty to our neighbors is the same today as it was in the time of Jesus.
When we contribute to the Community Chest, we are doing as He taught us to do.
We are helping those who need our help.
These acts of voluntary helpfulness-helpfulness without compulsion of laws or government--constitute some of our deepest and finest traditions. The early pioneers used to help one another with "house raisings." Neighbors would come from miles around to help the new settler clear a place in the woods and build his log cabin.
This tradition has lived and grown with our Republic. But today it has to show itself in new ways. In our thriving towns and cities, where we are all so dependent on one another, we have to ask our local welfare groups to provide the help our forefathers used to provide personally. Yet all of us can feel we have a personal stake in this good work when we make our contribution for Community Chest services. Needs which must be met by these services are always great. This year is no exception.
In addition, the United Defense fund in most cities is included this year in your United Community campaign. Through this fund you make possible USO clubs and camp shows for the defenders of our country. You also make possible blankets and clothing which will bring warmth and comfort to the war-torn families of Korea this winter.
Through your Red feather pledges, homeless children are given shelter and care; destitute older people are provided for; boys and girls are guided into paths of good citizenship; families beset by misfortune are given help.
We simply cannot neglect these good things--these necessary things. We simply cannot fail to do our full share in this good work.
Working together for the common welfare is an American habit. Let's keep that habit strong. Let's give generously again this year.
Harry S. Truman, Radio and Television Remarks Opening the Nation's Community Chest Campaign. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230560