History of the United Way
Through a network of more than 1,300 local United Ways nationwide, volunteers and community service agencies meet education, health and human-care needs every day.
United Way has been about the business of addressing health and welfare issues since 1887. A priest, two ministers and a rabbi in Denver joined forces to found the Charity Organizations Society to serve as an agent to collect funds for local charities, as well as to coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and make emergency assistance grants. $21,700 was raised in that first campaign, which helped ten agencies better meet the needs of people.
From those humble beginnings was born the United Way vision of building a stronger America. United way achieves this vision nationally, and more importantly, locally, by:
- Energizing and inspiring people to make a difference;
- Crafting human care agendas within and across our communities;
- Building coalitions around these agendas;
- Increasing investments in these agendas by expanding and diversifying our own development efforts and supporting those of others;
- Measuring, communicating, and learning from the impact of our efforts; and
- Reflecting the diversity of the communities we serve
We have been known by a variety of names over the years. In Cleveland, the Community Chest name appeared in 1913. In 1918 fundraising federations convened in Chicago to form the American Association for Community Organizations, which became the United Foundation in 1948, and finally in 1963, today's United Way. The U.S. Postal Service celebrated United Way's Centennial with a commemorative stamp in 1987.
Financial World magazine recognized United Way in 1994 as the charity of choice for its leadership in not-for-profit ethics and accountability. We are proud of that standard and strive to maintain it. United Way is recognized for its high standard of volunteer service.
United Way worked with the Federal Communications Commission to designate 2-1-1, an easy to remember and universally recognizable telephone number that refers individuals and families to health and human information and services available in the local area. Begun by the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta in 1997, today 80% of the country's population has access to 2-1-1 service in 47 states and the District of Columbia. 2-1-1 has bipartisan support from national and state governments and local United Ways across the country.
The Help Hotline Crisis Center in Youngstown provides 2-1-1 service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Columbiana and Mahoning counties. 2-1-1 service helps United Way meets its mission of improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities.
2-1-1 is an excellent beginning point for people in need of services, but who have no knowledge of what services may be available or which agency provides a specific service, be it food, clothing, shelter, day care, job training, transportation assistance, summer camp or recreational programs, mentoring and tutoring youth, counseling, substance intervention and rehabilitation, home health and respite care, etc. A study by the University of Texas Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources concluded in December that the value of 2-1-1 service across the nation will reach $1.1 billion over the next decade.
Countless corporations are actively engaged with United Way in annual fundraising efforts. Government employees at the federal and state level participate in combined charitable campaigns that direct dollars back to our local communities. Our most important partners, however, have always been our local citizens, businesses and industries. It is that local commitment, which makes our local United Way a success.
The Community Fund Association of Salem, Ohio was established and recognized as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation more than 35 years ago. In 1983 our name was changed to the Salem Area United Fund, and in 1985 we became United Way Services of Northern Columbiana County to better reflect the broad scope of our service area: East Palestine, Columbiana, Leetonia, Lisbon, Washingtonville, Salem and surrounding areas.
The Articles of Incorporation outlined our purpose:
- Develop as fully as possible the financial resources, both governmental and voluntary;
- Maximize the resources available for services aimed at the most current need of the community; and
- Muster community support and commitment for United Way through a systematic communications program, which both speaks and listens to the community.
Annual application is required by any agency receiving or wishing to receive United Way funding. Allocation hearings are conducted by the Budget Committee in which applying agencies make a presentation in support of their application and answer questions from the committee. The committee studies all the information and develops the annual campaign goal.
Agencies reported more than 92,000 service deliveries in 2007. Individuals received a wide array of services, including, but not limited to: skilled nursing, adult day care and respite care, interpretative services, housing assistance, assistance with rent, utilities and prescriptions, after school programs, counseling and referral, mentoring, pain management, domestic violence shelter, camping, home aides, occupational, physical and speech therapy, blood donation, senior citizen programming, exercise and wellness programming, leadership training and character building, immunizations, transportation, scouting, substance abuse education and intervention, volunteerism, nutrition education, spiritual development, disaster relief, shut-in visitation, environmental and natural world education, decision making and coping skills training, food pantries, and personal empowerment opportunities.
All contributions to United Way Services of Northern Columbiana County are expended locally to help people in the service area. All United Way agencies are non-profit organizations and all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
United Way Services of Northern Columbiana County adheres to the highest professional and ethical standards as stewards of the public trust. We respect the privacy rights of individuals and ensure that all information, which is confidential, privileged or nonpublic, is not disclosed inappropriately.