The United Way idea took shape almost 120 years ago in Denver, Colorado. The founders (four religious leaders) felt Denver should have leadership and coordination to meet the growing social service needs of local citizens. Business leaders supported the effort, for they saw advantages in having a single organization solicit and distribute funds to address the social issues of industrialized cities. The concept spread throughout the country.
Watch a video history of United Way of Monroe County (PowerPoint, 7mb).
A brief history of our United Way:
|1906||A group of Bloomington citizens comes together to collectively solve community problems—forming the Council of Social Agencies. Mrs. Mary Waldron, who led four of the agencies, becomes the Director.|
|1936||Community Chest forms with a goal of $20,000.|
|1948||Council of Social Agencies reconvenes after the war.|
|1956||Bloomington and Monroe County United Fund officially incorporates on February 27. The fall campaign raises $118,184.|
|1962||CSA changes name to Monroe County Community Council.|
|1964||MCCC and United Fund publish community-wide directory of human service providers, now called the IRIS Manual.|
|1967||First comprehensive Community Survey highlights areas of need. Series continues, resulting in the 1991 COMPASS, the 1998 SPAN/MC, and the 2003 Service Community Assessment of Needs (SCAN).|
|1970||MCCC changes name to Community Service Council.|
|1974||United Fund changes name to United Way.|
|1976||Annual campaign raises over $500,000.|
|1988||Annual campaign raises over $1 million and the Vanguard Leadership Giving Program begins.|
|1992||Indiana University surges in giving — becoming the second largest United Way campaign in the Big 10.|
|1994||United Way of Monroe County forms a partnership with Community Service Council. In 2001, UW and CSC merge, adopting the name United Way Community Services of Monroe County.|
|1995||Project Giant Step funding from the Lilly Endowment through the Indiana Association of United Ways provides Internet access for the social service community.|
|1998||United Way establishes an endowment with the Community Foundation.|
|2004||United Way begins to focus on achieving seven community goals:|
Everyone should have sufficient food.
Everyone should have a safe place to live.
Everyone should have access to basic health care.
People in crisis should have access to emergency services.
Children and youth should have the opportunity to grow and prosper.
Everyone should have the skills and support to enter and stay in the workforce.
Seniors should be supported in their efforts to be independent.
|2005||United Way forms the Workforce Preparation Network, a collaboration of 40 community partners. The Network implements coordinated and sustainable strategies for improving career preparation and advancement. It helps our citizens face the challenges of the 21st century economy and seize its inherent opportunities.|
|2006||United Way celebrates 50th Anniversary. Name changes to United Way of Monroe County, reflecting association with United Ways nationwide.|
United Way of Monroe County launches Born Learning to help parents, caregivers, and our community create early learning opportunities for young children.
Area 10 Agency on Aging, with support from United Way of Monroe County, premiers the 2-1-1 information and referral service for Monroe and Owen counties, along with the online database www.211infolink.net
|2008||Floods hit the area hard. United Way of Monroe County leads the Monroe County Long Term Recovery Committee, which assists 500 families for two years as they recover. In 2011, the Committee transitions into the MoCOAD (Monroe County Community Organizations Active in Disaster), which includes nonprofits, businesses, local government, and faith organizations.|
|2009||United Way of Monroe County partners with the Community Foundation to launch Monroe Smart Start, a countywide birth-to-five coalition. This initiative brings families and communities together to ensure that children enter kindergarten healthy, happy, and ready to succeed.|
|2010||The Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana is formed by United Way and a steering committee of over a dozen committed partners. FSA increases collaboration among service providers and provides financial stability programs in Greene, Monroe, and Owen counties. FSA hosts its first event, at which 40 providers share information about their programs and services.|
|2011||United Way of Monroe County works with financial institutions. nonprofits, and local government to launch Bank On Bloomington. This initiative helps people receive financial education, open bank accounts, avoid payday loans and check-cashing fees, and build savings.|
The Financial Stability Alliance and United Way of Monroe County conclude a second successful year of coordinating the Free Community Tax Service. Filed returns increase 143% in those two years. FSA also develops the community's first comprehensive financial stability guide.
Monroe Smart Start releases a kindergarten readiness guidebook and checklist, approved by both Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) and Richland-Bean Blossom School Corporation (RBBSC). Literacy and community engagement are built through B is for Bloomington, a child's alphabet guide to notable area features (available through Bloomington Area Birth Services).