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History

Since 1924, United Way has been the leading organization on the First Coast improving the lives of one of every three Northeast Florida citizens. As highlighted below, in every decade when the needs of the community have shifted, United Way has always been a driving force meeting issues head on:

1920s

Community Planning Groups evolved into the Community Chest of Jacksonville. These planning groups assessed and prioritized community needs, as well as mobilized and targeted resources to resolve specific community issues.
1930s
United Way was called upon to conduct additional campaigns due to the Great Depression and overwhelming unemployment.
1940s
United Way allocated funds to support national and foreign relief work during World War II.
1950s
With community growth, suburban development, and increasing racial strife, United Way shifted its focus toward more minority programs.
1960s
As women joined the workforce in increasing numbers, United way addressed the need for day care support for low-income families.
1970s
United Way expanded its support for agency services that addressed developmentally challenged persons, illiteracy, suicide prevention, physical abuse, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and single-parent families.
1980s
Needs arose in the form of runaway shelters and drug abuse and crisis counseling, at the same time that government responsibility for funding human service programs began to shift to the private sector. United Way stepped forward to help fill the void.
1990s
Agency programs associated with adult day care, HIV and related illnesses, character-building programs for youth, and preparing children to enter school ready to learn receive United Way support.
2000s
Tragedy unites the community in 2001, as donors contribute to local needs and support national relief and recovery efforts through the September 11th Fund. The Community Care Challenge begins a successful five-year drive to generate leadership donors and raise $2.6 million new dollars for the community. read more

What began in 1924 when 1,000 Duval County citizens assembled at Hemming Plaza to raise money and make time to help care for fellow citizens in need, is now a regional movement of caring people from all walks of life in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and northern St. Johns counties. While our strategies have changed through the years, our commitment has not. We continue to reach for our ultimate goal - to build a stronger, healthier community.