1941-1960: World War II, the War Chest and red feathers


On September 28, 1942, two officers of the Billposters Union, local 49, work to post War Chest signs in Tacoma’s business district and outlying shopping areas. The posters are promoting the upcoming War Chest fundraising campaign, which was a wartime branch of the Community Chest. The streetlight was located at 474 Market Street. 

lamp post


The 1942 fundraising campaign ran for two weeks. Alice McFadon, a campaign volunteer, is shown in the back room of the Tacoma Engraving Company, where she talked to artist Rex Pierce about his campaign donation. 


War Chest Dri8ve


Some of the funds collected by the War Chest drive were used to build a men’s lounge for service men on the second floor of Union Station. The facility, which was built in partnership with the U.S.O., was equipped with cots, chairs, reading lamps, tables and writing desks. There was also a women’s lounge that contained a nursery.  

In November 1947, three students at Stadium High School proudly hoist a huge red feather, which for many years was a symbol used in Community Chest campaigns. The 1947 campaign was a great success, exceeding its goal of $340,000. (Pictured—left to right): Patty Doe, Margaret Hansen and Lorraine Bottinger).

red feather

Join the red feather club

In October 1950, organized labor encouraged all its members to do their part in supporting the Community Chest during its annual fund drive. Maxine Knauf (right) is shown signing up union workers at the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company mill for membership in the "21 Club." Each participant in the club was asked to donate at least 25 cents to each of the 21 “Red Feather” agencies funded by the Community Chest, for a minimum total of $5.25.

Photo credits (top to bottom): Northwest Room at Tacoma Public Library (NWR at TPL), Richards Studio D13480-1; NWR at TPL, Richards Studio D13525-2; NWR at TPL, Richards Studio D16310-2 ; NWR at TPL, Richards Studio D30738-3; NWR at TPL, Richards Studio D53320-1