For more than a thousand years, the red feather has been used as a reward for special acts. It was awarded for unusual acts of valor or chivalry during medieval times. American Indians awarded red dyed eagle feathers to their most fearless braves. Robin Hood awarded a red feather to his men for acts of exceptional goodness.
Beginning in the early 1930's many United Ways adopted the red feather as a symbol of service to the community. Even today, people still refer to "Red Feather Agencies."
In the spirit of selflessness long associated with the red feather, the United Way of Lee County recognizes those who contribute to United Way with exceptional generosity to help people in need. Individuals who give $1,000 or more are offered membership and asked to wear our version of the red feather.
Wearing this timeless symbol indicates more than simply a contribution of money. It indicates each member's leadership role in helping people care for one another. Their willingness to share inspires their friends and associates to join them in helping others who may be less fortunate.
Our society has changed in many ways throughout the years. But the spirit embodied in the feather emblem remains the same: recognizing exceptional people who care.