Lowell History: World War II Community Chest Collection

Founded in 1913, the Community Chest was an ubiquitous presence in small-town and big-city America for decades. The Community Chest organization collected money from local businesses, townspeople, and workers to use for community charity projects. With the stock market crash of 1929, the number of Community Chests nationwide reached over 1,000. During WWII, Community Chest worked alongside the National War Fund to help support the war effort, raising money for equipment, goods, and entertainment for soldiers. In 1963, the organization was renamed United Way, and is still active to this day. The red feather logo and Community Chest name is still used in Japan for disaster relief.

This collection, donated to the Center for Lowell History by Paul Dunnigan, brings together material from the Greater Lowell Community Chest and War Fund from approximately the mid-1930s to 1950, including brochures, comic books, and other artifacts. It provides a unique and in-depth portrait of the "war on the home front", showing how many different labor, civic, and business organizations were involved in raising money for the war effort.

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