In June 1921, in the immediate aftermath of WWI, a crippling pandemic, and a historic 100-year flood, community leaders from five civic organizations came together to form the Asheville Community Chest. The first of its kind in North Carolina, the idea was both simple and powerful; they would unite their fundraising efforts into a single community-wide fundraising campaign, the proceeds of which would support local agencies engaged directly in vital community recovery efforts.
We've gone by several names since being founded in 1921, including The Asheville Community Chest, The Buncombe County United Appeal, and the United Fund of Asheville. We adopted our current name, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, in 1973.
We've also transformed how we think about our work over the years. From serving solely as a fundraising organization to seeing ourselves as the backbone of support to United for Youth and working toward a Bold Community Goal, we are always looking to improve and expand our impact.
It is impossible to assemble a collection of pictures that accurately reflects ALL of the people that moved the work of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County forward over the course of these past 100 years. That said, this page represents our best, first attempt at collecting just a few articles and pictures from our early years. But there's so much more to share and so we see this as just a start. We may just pull together a few fun internships for someone to help us wrangle all the information we have into something you can dig into later on.