In 1932, the Community Fund was founded to see to the needs of the indigent during the Depression until the County took over welfare responsibilities with a paid staff. By 1939, with Mrs. A.E. Melbourne as its chairman, the Community Fund’s purpose was “to assist in Child Welfare Work, hospitalization, borderline cases, and Boy Scout Organizations.” In 1942 the last was changed to “Boy and Girl Scout work,” and in 1947 it was replaced by “medical attention.”
In 1946, the Minneapolis Community Chest conducted its first fund drive with the Red Feather as its symbol. In St. Louis Park, a local businessman was elected to head the Red Feather drive.
October 1950 saw a “coup” on the board of the St. Louis Park Community Fund and there was much infighting among members. It was then that it affiliated itself with the Hennepin County Community Chest. Confusion about charter amendments, proxies, and annual meetings made for a difficult time. In February of 1951 the group chose to revitalize the agency. Officers that year were John Lamb, Ken Wolfe, Mrs. John Yngve, and Barney Gross.
In 1953 the Community Fund was once again in danger of being disbanded, even though the entire Village’s recreation budget depended on it. Working as a pass-through between the Hennepin County Community Chest and the recipients, it no longer felt it had a meaningful role.
In October 1954, Herb Davis organized a rally to kick off the Red Feather Drive. 450 people attended the event, which featured pep talks from Ed Viehman of WCCO and Cal Karnstedt of KSPT. Other entertainers were the Ewald Quartet, child singing star Dick Johnson, and the 1955 Community Chest movie, “These Are Our Neighbors.”
In 1960, the United Fund of Hennepin County was established in response to the proliferation of fundraising efforts. The St. Louis Park Community Fund became part of this organization in about 1963. In 1973, the United Fund became the United Way of the Minneapolis Area. In 2001, Minneapolis and St. Paul merged to form the Greater Twin Cities United Way.