Whether you need a hand or have a hand to lend…the United Way of Greater Hazleton needs you. Without you…there is No Way!
For more than 110 years, United Ways have been building a stronger, more compassionate America…community by community.
More than 1,400 individual United Ways make up the national movement. Each one is governed by local volunteers, who ensure the accountability of the United Way to its community.
The United Way of Greater Hazleton is no exception. It is dedicated to raising funds to help people in need in the most efficient, effective way possible. The United Way movement began in 1897 when four clergymen in Denver, Colorado met to discuss the increasing human needs in their growing city.
Concerned about their social service agencies’ needs for financial help, they went to businesses, individuals and professionals, asking them to join together to start a fund, or “Community Chest,” as a financial reserve that would serve the needs of their community. They also took responsibility for the accountability of money collected. This pool of money would be distributed to the agencies in need.
The United Way process has not deviated from its original intent. Community members raise the dollars; community volunteers distribute the dollars raised to the agencies that serve the community with vital services, and community volunteers review and account for both the dollars and the services they represent.
The concept of giving through United Way remains the same as it was more than 100 years ago – to urge everyone to donate at any level to support the needs of their families, friends and neighbors. The United Way of Greater Hazleton, Inc. – our community United Way – continues to be the conduit that guarantees 24 – hour service to the community.
The organization was created in 1928, under the leadership of the local Chamber of Commerce. It’s first campaign, in 1931, raised $91,687. The organization was renamed the Welfare Council of the Middle Coal Field District in 1940, and renamed the Welfare Council of Hazleton and Vicinity in 1942. In 1950, the council received a new home at the Desiroth Community Center. Two years later, its name was changed again – to the Greater Hazleton Community Chest and Council. The organization became the Greater Hazleton United Fund in 1965, and in 1968 its campaign topped the $200,000 mark for the first time.
The present name, United Way of Greater Hazleton, Inc., was adopted in 1975. Today, the organization has 26 member agencies. They were collectively responsible for answering more than 150,000 instances of need in our community each year.