When we began: 1887
Who started it? Four religious leaders in Denver
Why did they do it? They recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems.
How did they begin? These four leaders put their heads together to plan the first united campaign for ten health and welfare agencies and created an organization to serve as an agent to:
- collect funds for local charities
- coordinate relief services
- counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies
- make emergency assistance grants (in cases which could not be referred)
The result of the 1887 campaign: Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the country to become United Way.
How United Way of the Midlands was created:
- Community Chest, a name adopted by many local United Way agencies, was launched in 1925 through the Columbia Chamber of Commerce
- The first community-wide campaign raised its goal of $60,000
- Since then, the United Way organization and local community support have continued to develop and in 1976-1977, United Way services in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry counties merged to create United Way of the Midlands. Orangeburg and Calhoun counties joined United Way of the Midlands in 2003.
United Way of the Midlands Today:
- With a mission to unite people and resources to improve the quality of life in the Midlands, United Way of the Midlands focuses on helping students succeed in school, reducing homelessness, and providing affordable health care.
- Our annual impact on the Midlands is almost $20 million.
- More than 40,000 donors support United Way.
- We work with more than 70 Community Impact Partners
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