Herbert Hoover photo

Remarks to a Group of Community Chest Workers.

February 05, 1930

COMMUNITY CHESTS in our cities have demonstrated their value and importance for effective conduct in administration of the multitude of charities necessary within our great municipalities. They represent our greatest advance in the administration of charity. Their great purpose is the handling, with large vision, of the obligations of a whole city to its less fortunate residents. They guarantee integrity and efficient conduct of charitable administration. They assure skill in administration, freedom from prejudice. They give support to charities of vital necessity yet of less emotional appeal. They free the administrators of our charitable institutions from anxiety and the diversion of their time from primary duties to the constant collection of funds. They give assurance of continuity. They make for the relief of the residents of a community from constant supplication and uncertainty.

The Community Chest stands for the sense of charity of the city. And charity is the obligation of the strong to the weak; it is the practice of a spiritual impulse; it is the restraint of selfishness; it is the expression of the confidence of mankind. Works of charity are the rests of spiritual development of men and women and communities. At this time when we attach too much importance to material and economic success, we place great emphasis on the idea of greater comfort, the possession of riches, and we too often overlook the necessity for stimulated spiritual development, the Community Chest has come to stand for this spiritual development of a community.

I should like to speak as a citizen of the District. The Capital City of the Nation should lead both in the evidence of acceptance of its obligations to the less fortunate and in devotion to spiritual development. I suggest that the time has arrived in this appeal when every citizen in the District should give some evidence of his devotion to charitable purpose, no matter how small, and that those who have already given should review their gifts to be sure they have been extended to the utmost they can afford.

Note: The President spoke at 2:15 p.m. in the East Room of the White House to a group of 150 Community Chest workers. The remarks were broadcast on radio to group meetings and the public throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

Herbert Hoover, Remarks to a Group of Community Chest Workers. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211215

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