The YMCA was one of the seven organizations involved in The United War Work Campaign in November 1918.

The Armistice of November 11, 1918 coincided with the start of The United War Work Campaign, a national initiative to raise a staggering $170,500,000 in 1918 dollars to aid the American Expeditionary Forces. The project began back in the summer and was, to put it mildly, a massive undertaking; in addition to raising that extraordinary sum, organizers hoped to marshal one million Victory Boys between the ages of 12 and 20 to feed, entertain, and provide educational instruction to doughboys. The United War Work Campaign was the effort of seven agencies: the YMCA, the YWCA, the National Catholic War Council of the Knights of Columbus, the Jewish Welfare Board, Salvation Army, American Library Association, and the War Camp Community Community Service. Clearly the intent was to involve as many constituencies as possible across religious and other lines. The chairman of the initiative in New York City was none other than John D. Rockefeller  Jr., who spoke at various functions around the city in early October drumming up interest. Another prominent New Yorker involved in the campaign was Theodore Roosevelt, who spoke at the Manhattan Opera House on November 1 for that same purpose. Colonel Roosevelt implored his audience that while the kaiser was on his heels there was still much work to be done in winning the war.

As mentioned above the campaign began on November 11 just as news of the Armistice was coming in. For much of the the next week while the celebrated Americans still went out and participated in charity gold tournaments, bake sales, benefit concerts, and so many others things besides. When it became obvious that the funding goal would be a bit short come the November 18 deadline organizers pushed the date back, first to the 20th and then to the 25th. This had the desired results. In those two weeks just after the German surrender Americans donated $203,179,038 to the campaign.

(poster/Library of Congress, designed by Neysa McMein)