In 1887, a Denver priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems. The Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J. O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put their heads together to plan the first united campaign for ten health and welfare agencies. They created an organization 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 in cases which could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the country to become the United Way. Over 122 years later, United Way is still focused on mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people’s lives.
Locally, the United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County was founded in 1926 and was originally known as Port Arthur Community Chest. Although the name of the organization has changed several times over the course of 90 years, the mission has remained the same: to improve the lives of others by mobilizing the caring power of communities.
That’s why United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County is focused on the building blocks for a good life:
- Education – Helping Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential
- Income – Promoting Financial Stability and Independence
- Health – Improving People’s Health
Everyone deserves opportunities to have a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.
Advancing the common good is less about helping one person at a time and more about changing systems to help all of us. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, when people are healthy.
United Way’s goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of these problems. Living united means being a part of the change. It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future.
GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER.