What is United Way?

What is United Way?

In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi got together... It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but they didn't walk into a bar; what they did do was recognize the need to work together in new ways to make Denver a better place.  

Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J.O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put together an idea that became the nation's first united campaign, benefiting 10 area health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to collect the funds for local charities, to coordinate relief services, to counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and to make emergency assistance grants for cases that could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 for this greater good, and created a movement that would become United Way.  United Way has grown from its small roots to a worldwide entity, sparking change in local communities.

Who We Are

We are United Way of Greater Baytown and Chambers County.  Our mission is to develop, promote and support solutions designed to meet targeted community needs. Our organization strives to impact communities in three key areas of education, financial stability, and health.  We focus on education so we can address opportunity gaps from cradle to career.  We strive for community financial stability to empower people to achieve stable financial ground.  We promote health because strong bodies and minds make for even stronger communities.  By focusing on local communities, and in conjunction with other United Way branches around the United States, our impact is from the ground up and far reaching.

Our roots began after World War II in 1946 as the Tri-Cities and East Harris County Community Chest. During the war, Baytown area residents gave generously to the national war fund, with the contributions supporting a variety of local needs: community health, services and programs for returning war veterans, character building and recreational activity, as well as war relief.