It’s a credo. A mission. A goal. A constant reminder that when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. We build the strength of our neighborhoods. We bolster the health of our communities. And we change the lives of those who walk by us everyday.
In 2008, United Way Worldwide initiated a 10-year program designed to achieve the following goals by 2018:
- Improve education, and cut the number of high school dropouts — 1.2 million students, every year — in half.
- Help people achieve financial stability, and get 1.9 million working families — half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable — on the road to economic independence.
- Promote healthy lives, and increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.
These goals are ambitious, but with your help, and by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve them.
In 1959, the United Fund of Wilson County was organized at a meeting in the Cherry Hotel. The goal for this initial fundraising effort was set at $79,568.30. Today the organization we now call United Way raises more than one-million dollars annually to fund human service agencies for the people of Wilson County.
Far from being just a once-a-year presence, United Way is an integral part of the community it serves. Each member agency’s program is a part of a total health, welfare, and character building program designed to meet the needs of the community. Because of this fact, United Way has a responsibility to consider the community program as a whole and each agency’s relation to the total program.
United Way helps people help themselves and one another by uniting the community’s volunteer fundraising efforts in a manner that builds a strong spirit of community volunteerism; responds to needs that can’t be met through public expenditures; is accountable to the giver and the receiver for dollars and programs; operates in a cost effective manner.