Motion Picture Relief Fund

On June 24, 1965, while on the set of the movie "Frankie and Johnny," Elvis donated $50,000 to the Motion Picture Relief Fund.  Barbara Stanwyck, Frank Sinatra and Bud Abbott represented the film community and accepted the contribution.

The Motion Picture Relief Fund was created by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith as a way to help those in the entertainment industry who had fallen on hard times.  They started out simply with a donation box to collect spare change.  Incorporating in 1921, Joseph M. Schenck was the first president with Mary Pickford as vice president and a board that included many of the biggest names in Hollywood.  Their mission statement "We take care of our own."

As more requests for assistance came in during the late 1920s, they needed to find new ways of raising money.  They had celebrity events that included balls, movie premieres, fashion shows and sporting events.  By 1932 they had begun a payroll deduction plan for those in the industry earning over $200 a week.  Then in 1939 they began a popular radio program called "The Screen Guild Show" on which major performers appeared and would donate their normal salaries to the fund.  They were able to raise over
$5,000,000 during the next 13 years the show was on the air.

In 1940, then-president Jean Hersholt purchased 48 acres of land in Woodland Hills, California that would become the site of the Motion Picture & Television Country Home and Hospital. On September 27, 1942 the home was dedicated.  In 1948 the hospital was dedicated.  Today they continue to expand their services of health care, retirement care and child care for those working in the various facets of the entertainment industry and their dependants....still "taking care of their own."