Since its founding in 1921, United Way of Wyoming Valley has always played a key role in funding the social service needs in our community. While much has changed over the past 100 years, today the work of the organization could not be more important or meaningful.
17,600 Children Served • 32 Programs • 20 Agencies • 11 Signature InitiativesDownload PDF
Poverty to Possibility
UNITED WAY PRIORITY:
Children are prepared to succeed in school and achieve good health. Families obtain financial stability.
people received access to oral and primary health care.
children and youth took part in programming focused on academic achievement.
children were prepared for kindergarten.
families received home visitation and parenting support services.
UNITED WAY PRIORITY:
Children, families and individuals have access to food, shelter and essential services.
nights of shelter for the homeless.
rides provided to seniors and people with disabilities to remain independent.
people who experienced domestic violence or sexual assault received services.
individuals avoided eviction.
community referrals for people in need.
UNITED WAY PRIORITY:
Funding leveraged with partners at the national, state and local level to reduce achievement gaps for low-income children.
books distributed to Wyoming Valley children to ensure children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
children engaged in reading programs to improve kindergarten readiness, school attendance, and summer learning opportunities.
summer learning workshops to support K-2 students during COVID-19.
school-based interventions with social worker to improve attendance.
OUR HistoryDownload PDF
October 11, 1921
Community Welfare Federation was created by the WB Chamber of Commerce to consolidate all fundraising appeals into one annual drive to which the entire community would be asked to support.
November 11, 1922
The first campaign of the Community Welfare Federation is launched in the Wyoming Valley, raising $258,878.
Stock Market crashes.
Great Depression impacts employment, fundraising and pledge collections. Need for support increases.
World War II starts.
The Community Welfare Federation campaign included fundraising for the United Services Organization (USO) to support members of the Armed Forces and their families. $29,226.37 was raised for the USO.
December 7, 1941
The US is attacked by the Japanese Empire at Pearl Harbor.
The Community Welfare Federation created the Community War Chest to focus on fundraising and the Welfare Planning Council to address the human service needs of the Wyoming Valley.
The organization changed its name from the Community Welfare Federation to the Wyoming Valley Community Chest.
The Labor Participation Department was added as result of organized labor’s commitment to charitable giving and community service.
The first “Red Feather” parade was held on October 14th, drawing tens of thousands of spectators and involving 15 bands, 32 floats and many military vehicles. The purpose was to draw attention to the start of the community chest campaign.
To better organize area fundraising for local agencies, the Wyoming Valley Community Chest becomes part of the Wyoming Valley United Fund. Local firms were asked to join the United Fund and Sordoni Enterprises was the first to do so.
H. Allen Larsen, Executive Director of Wyoming Valley Community Chest, becomes the Executive Director of the Wyoming Valley United Fund.
George Guthrie Conyngham chairs the first United Fund campaign and it exceeds $1 million for the first time.
Nancy Morris of Wyoming Valley Hospital was chosen as the first “Miss United Fund”.
The Wyoming Valley United Fund reorganizes the Welfare Planning Council to strengthen services and improve ways to better meet community needs.
The United Fund flourishes into a fund raising force in the Wyoming Valley.
A “Loaned Executive” program is initiated.
The Women’s Council is created to support the organization.
Change to Hurricane Agnes floods Wyoming Valley causing more than$1 billion in damages.
United Fund and Welfare Planning Council become the United Way of Wyoming Valley, combining fundraising, planning, and allocations under one umbrella.
The campaign, chaired by William Umphred, tops $2 million for the first time.
First Rose Brader Award in honor of Rosilie Brader, a 30-year employee and labor leader, was awarded to Gary Van Scoy.
The campaign, chaired by Dr. Wallace Stettler, tops $3 million for the first time.
The Alexis de Tocqueville Society was founded and led by community volunteers Stephen Sordoni and Frank Henry.
The Christmas in July Food Drive was launched to assist the food bank and pantries with food supplies during the summer months.
The campaign, chaired by Atty. Murray Ufberg, tops $4 million for the first time.
United Way of Wyoming Valley begins services with individuals with HIV/AIDS with funding from the PA Department of Health.
The United Way of Wyoming Valley hosts its first annual Day of Caring.
United Way of Wyoming Valley receives the National AFL-CIO Model Cities in Community Service Award for the outstanding partnership created between the local labor movement and United Way in jointly addressing and meeting human service needs.
United Way establishes “Success by Six” initiative to help young, at-risk children.
The campaign, chaired by Terry Casey, tops $5 million.
United Way of Wyoming Valley establishes September 11th Fund and participates in a local telethon to raise funds for 9/11 victims. Over $220,000 was raised in NEPA.
The Sordoni Foundation provides a $1 million “Challenge Grant” to build the United Way of Wyoming Valley’s endowment.
United Way Labor Award renamed Sam Bianco Labor Award in honor of the late Sam Bianco.
United Way of Wyoming Valley adopts a new model of service and focuses on the increasing percentage of childhood poverty. The organization partners with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and launches a number of initiatives to address the health and education of at-risk children and the financial stability of families.
The organization also remains committed to funding basic and emergency needs.
As the nation is plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, fundraising is impacted, but need for support increases as unemployment spikes. The education of children is disrupted.
United Way of Wyoming Valley creates the Children’s Success Fund.
CHILDREN'S SUCCESS FUND
In recognition of our Centennial Anniversary, United Way of Wyoming Valley has created the Children’s Success Fund to advance our goals of helping at-risk children and families of our community.
The pandemic has been challenging to all of us, but has been devastating to the one-in-four children in our community who live in poverty and are most at-risk of failure. National studies have affirmed what our local schools have witnessed:
- Students with the fewest resources and academic opportunities are on track to experience the greatest learning loss.
- By the end of June 2021, impoverished and at-risk students could be as much as 12 months behind in their learning.
- Absenteeism is up; kindergarten enrollment down; high school dropout rates are expected to rise.
- More families are experiencing food insecurity; more stress; and more mental health issues.
Contributions earmarked for the Children’s Success Fund will go to initiatives and programs that will enable United Way, in partnership with local school districts, to respond to these needs. In addition, the fund will support and sustain many of the programs already in place and designed to address the education and health of children, and the stability of families. We will respond as we always have – in ways that are both thoughtful and impactful.