United Way is a charitable organization that seeks to “improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.” United Way fights for health, education, and financial stability for people in the communities where they work. United Way and their partners currently work in 1,800 communities in more than 40 countries. United Way impacts 61 million people of all ages every year.
United Way was founded in 1887 by a priest, two ministers, a rabbi, and a Denver woman who desired to improve health and welfare in Denver, Colorado. This interfaith group worked together to create the first United Way campaign, originally called Charitable Organization Society. They collected funds for local charities, coordinated counseling and relief services, and gave grants to fund emergency assistance cases. In the first year, the organization allocated more than $20,000 to their community and created a movement that currently donates billions of dollars as United Way.
United Way has many partners, like the NFL, MTV, H&R Block, and Goodwill. United Way worked with the NFL to create Public Service Announcements with athletes, coaches, and owners. Additionally, they formed the Play60 campaign to encourage families to live healthier lives by eating well and advocating for kids to play and exercise for at least 60 minutes a day. Through MTV, United Way has also helped college students serve on their spring breaks through volunteer work.
4 of the Founders of the United Way
Reverend Myron W. Reed, Dean H. Martyn Hart, William J. O, Ryan, William S. Friedman
Frances Wisebart Jacobs
5th Founder of the United Way
United Way logo