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War Chest Volunteer

War Chest Volunteer Club Button Museum
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War Chest Volunteer button back Club Button Museum
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Illustration in blue of a storage chest inside a white circle with red text.  White text on a red outer border.

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WENDELL'S INC. 762 (union bug) 7 (union bug) 8 MPLS, MINN.

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A community chest as depicted in the illustration was also known as a war chest during WWI and WWII. The Community Chest (organization) was founded in 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio, and it allocated campaign funds through charity to address the problems of a rapidly expanding metropolitan area. In 1918, WWI brought refinements in fundraising. To save time and money, the Red Cross and YMCA formed a campaign known as “War Chest” and raised over 6 million dollars, surpassing the goal for the drive. The War Chest led the Community Chest to popularity in 1919, encompassing 92 agencies and bringing over 4 million dollars in its first campaign.

During WWII, the Community Chest again ran the War Chest campaign to investigate the possibility of a more complete federation of charitable work. Throughout the years, the Community Chest expanded to bring communities across 40 countries and territories to improve the quality of education, financial stability, and health. Today, the Community Chest is known as The United Way. This artifact may have been worn in the 1940s to represent volunteer service during wartime campaigns.


United Ways. (n.d.). Our history. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from

United Way Cleveland. (n.d.). History of United Way of greater Cleveland. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from

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