Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

United Way Plays Role within Community

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

United Way Plays Role within Community

Article excerpt

The United Way is an organization that many people know about because their workplace conducts a United Way Campaign. What people don't usually know about United Way is its work goes well beyond raising money and distributing it agencies. One of the challenges we face is getting people to understand what United Way does. When I tell people I work for United Way, the response is usually a confession that they give to United Way and a quick departure, or the sincere response of "You do such good work."

My favorite came years ago when we moved into a new neighborhood and our neighbors came over to welcome us to the neighborhood and laughed when I said I worked for United Way. When I asked what was so funny (a great way to make a first impression) he responded by saying we supported abortions and he could never be involved with an organization like United Way. United Way does not support abortions - it is a common misconception.

The mission of United Way is simple "To improve lives." We bring people, organizations, government, schools and businesses together to change conditions in our community. We give people HOPE.

The first United Way began in 1887 in Denver when four clergy and a woman came together to address issues facing their community. They also brought agencies together to efficiently raise funds to address the issues. The concept spread quickly across the country and United Ways began forming in communities across the country. The United Way of Southwestern Indiana was founded in 1922.

Today, there are 1800 United Ways around the globe, each independently incorporated local organizations governed by a local volunteer board of directors that addresses the issues in their local community. We are a network of local agencies with a common focus on education, income and health, but how each United Way chooses to address those is up to the community.

The United Way of Southwestern Indiana focuses on early childhood education-preparing children to enter school ready to learn. …

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