Ours is a history of facing our community’s greatest challenges head on.
Since our founding in 1943, whatever the challenge, we bring people together around the table to listen, to learn, to understand and to problem-solve. The United Way is the ultimate community table.
In the 1940s, the United Way helped feed, clothe, and house the children of local families separated by the call of duty to serve in WWII, whether a father was destined for the Pacific or the desecrated lands of Europe, or a mother headed to San Diego to serve as a wartime mechanic.
During Jim Crow, our United Way made it a priority to help families facing economic and social tyranny. The United Way served low-income working families from Ridge Street—most of whom were African-American—providing healthcare, early education, and child care. The United Way also donated the property for the Janie Porter Day Nursery (now the Barrett Early Learning Center).
In the 1980’s, scientists identified a new disease, AIDS. United Way took a stand to counter misinformation and fear and helped create the fabric of services and public education in our community to ensure healthcare and social understanding for people living with HIV and AIDS.