History

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1887:

In Denver, religious leaders founded the Charity Organizations Society, the first "United Way" organization, which planned and coordinated local services and conducted a single fund-raising campaign for 22 agencies.

1919:

Rochester, New York used the name Community Chest, a name widely adopted by United Way organizations and used until the early 1950s. This year began a 10-year growth period in the number of Community Chests: 39 in 1919; 353 in 1929.

1921:

Community Chest of Asheville became the first such philanthropic organization in North Carolina. Community Chest’s initial campaign lasted one week and raised more than $85,000 to benefit eight local agencies.

1948:

More than 1,000 communities had established United Way organizations.

1952:

Community Chest of Asheville changes its name to United Fund. Sears-Roebuck conducts the first employee campaign; 99 percent of its workers contribute an hour’s pay per month, setting a standard for “Fair Share Giving” that continues today.

1972:

United Way assumes operation of the Volunteer Service Bureau, established by the Junior League of Asheville. A new 24-hour Help Line, later called the Information and Referral Help Line, links individuals in need with agencies that can help them. It will evolve into First Call for Help, 2-1-1 WNC and eventually the NC 2-1-1 Asheville Center.

1973:

The NFL and United Way establish their partnership to increase public awareness of social service issues facing the country.

1974:

The Loaned Employee Program is established.

1977:

United Way’s campaign nets more than $1,000,000, a new record for contributions.

1984:

United Way volunteers establish The Peaks Society to recognize those individuals and couples who give back to their community at the leadership giving level of $1,000 per year.

1986:

United Way purchases the building at 50 South French Broad Avenue as its new office.

1990:

The local Alexis de Tocqueville Society is established to recognize individuals and couples who contribute $10,000 or more annually to United Way.

1991:

United Way creates Children First as a community initiative.

1992:

Day of Caring becomes the venue for campaign kick-off.

1998:

The United Way campaign nets a record $5,000,000.

2000:

First Call for Help is the first information and referral service in North Carolina and fifth in the nation to be accredited by AIRS, the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems.

2001:

First Call for Help becomes the first 2-1-1 call center in North Carolina.

2003:

United Way opens the Volunteer Center to further promote volunteerism in the community. 2-1-1 WNC expands its services to Henderson County and launches an on-line database.

2004:

Peaks Society members form Highlands Circle to recognize and increase giving from community leaders in their 20s and 30s. 2-1-1 WNC adds Transylvania County to its service area.

The Volunteer Center becomes known as Hands On Asheville-Buncombe.

2005:

The Diamond Donors Recognition Program honors Buncombe County givers who have made contributions for 25 years or longer. United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County funds a record 91 programs managed by 43 local nonprofit agencies.

2007:

2-1-1 WNC expands to include service to Madison County.

2008:

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County adopts LIVE UNITED.

2009:

United Way celebrates the 25th anniversary of Leadership Giving.

2010:

United Way adopts Middle School Success as its focused initiative and begins a series of Community Conversations.

2011:

Hands On Asheville-Buncombe celebrates the 20th anniversary of Day of Caring; 2-1-1 WNC celebrates it's 10th anniversary.

2012:

2-1-1 WNC expands to include service to McDowell County.

2013:

2-1-1 WNC expands to include service to Polk County and Rutherford County. 2-1-1 WNC becomes the NC 2-1-1 Asheville Center.