In 1887, a Denver priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems. The Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J.O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put their heads together to plan the first united campaign for ten health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to serve as an agent to collect funds for local charities, as well as to coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and make emergency assistance grants in cases which could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the country to become the United Way. Over 118 years later, United Way is still focused on mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people’s lives.
The United Way of Stephens County was originally founded as a Community Chest in 1954 by two local businessmen, T.H. McCasland, Sr. and Eric Murray. They created a consolidated fund raising effort that supported six local non profit agencies and helped create a lasting legacy that we proudly continue to promote to this day.
Today the United Way of Stephens County supports 14 funded partners and serves over 16,000 individuals each year through the work of those partners. We are working collaboratively with several local initiatives to improve lives in Stephens County, including 211, Family Wize and Pathways to a Healthier You.