From the Archives: United Fund’s 1969 Film

The film canister containing the 1969 campaign film.

Long before the advent of our YouTube channel or even VHS cassettes, United Way was using the power of motion pictures to make a case for support in Greenville County.

As early as the 1940s, leaders of the Greenville Community Chest were advocating for the production of a local film to help share the importance of their work.

From the United Fund’s 1969 Annual Report

“The Community Chest movie that had been made in Atlanta last year was shown to the group by Bill Stroud of the Parker School District,” reads the minutes of the May 11, 1949, meeting of the local Community Chest. “Those present were very much in agreement that a similar movie of Greenville would help in interpreting the [Community Chest] services to the people.”

Creating a campaign film became common practice in the years that followed. In some years, the local fundraisers used films produced by the national organization (Community Chest, United Fund and United Way), and other times they had a local team create a Greenville County-specific film.

That was the case in 1969 when a local production team contrasted the spirit of progress in the swinging 60s with the need to help every member of the community through the United Fund.

“We’re living in what you would have to call ‘the affluent era’,” the voiceover proclaims. “We have more of everything at our disposal — more recreation, more music. Yes, sir, whatever music your heart desires: Country, bluegrass, big band, the soul sounds, all of the sounds.”

Wait until they find out about Spotify.

But much like today, the United Fund was working to make sure the progress and success of Greenville County in 1969 was something that everyone could share.

“Our children, our senior citizens, our less fortunate, all need the help only we can give through our United Fund of Greenville County. Yes, all of us our reaping the benefits of our booming economy and we have a responsibility to do our part for those our booming economy and prosperity leave behind.”

Still true.

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