A Short History Of Our United Way
United Ways trace their roots to 1887 when the clergy in Denver wanted to help the families that had traveled to the Rocky Mountains to work in the mines and ended up in poverty. They conducted a fundraising campaign for ten charities. The idea of a single effort to raise funds for many charities was an appealing one and it spread to other communities.
The United Way of Ashtabula County began in 1920 through the efforts of labor and civic leaders and volunteers from local charities. We were known as the Ashtabula Community Fund. By 1938 our name was the Ashtabula Community Chest and we adopted the Red Feather as our symbol. The name United Way was first used in the late 1960’s by organizations in other communities. We adopted that name in 1974, becoming the United Way of Ashtabula County.
Our role is similar to the group that formed in Denver so many years ago. We hold an annual fundraising appeal and the money supports local charities. However, we do more to assess the needs in Ashtabula County and our priorities are programs that focus on Education, Income and Health..the building blocks of a successful life. Our United Way will evolve as local needs change but one thing that won't change is our commitment to making Ashtabula County a better place for everyone.