As we welcome the new year, we’re excited to share that this year is our centennial anniversary! While we are excited to celebrate the meaningful work that has come from the past hundred years of service to our community, we’re even more excited to look to the next hundred years of how we will continue to partner alongside our neighbors in helping solve our community’s biggest problems.
Each month, we will be laying out thematic topics that touch on the relevancy of the work that has been done throughout the lifespan of United Way of Greater Chattanooga over the past hundred years, how it has impacted our city and most importantly, our people. In the midst of that, we will point most of our focus towards reflecting on the history of Chattanooga and its relationship with philanthropy and the generosity that is so deeply embedded in the core DNA of our community all while looking towards what is to come through new partnerships, innovation and collaboration.
Our relationships within the community and our on-the-ground nonprofit partners are foundational within the work we’ve been able to accomplish over the past hundred years and are crucial to the future impact that is to come in ensuring that, all people within the Greater Chattanooga community can reach their full human potential through financial stability, education and health and well-being, regardless of their zip-code.
Before we get started, here’s a brief glimpse into the beginnings of who we are as an organization and how we got here.
In September 1922, United Fund of Greater Chattanooga, Inc. was birthed, where the hope for the organization was to benefit the community by bringing structure around the coordination of existing community-driven services, pointing out and meeting unmet needs and giving every segment of the population of our city an opportunity to work together for the common good.
Fast forward to March 12, 1981, the name of the organization was changed from the United Fund of Greater Chattanooga, Inc. name to the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. In changing the name from United Fund to United Way, we were able to become more than a fund-raising organization. United Way was able to shift into a sense of community and a place to bring people together in working towards helping others. It became an opportunity to cultivate space for volunteers to donate their time in service to their neighbors, a platform for community members to become reassuring voices on a crisis hotline (2-1-1) and an organization that would fight and advocate as an outstretched hand of help to the children within our community.
There is much more to come over the next year but for now, thank you for the legacy that you’ve helped us create and for the impact we are going to continue to make with one another. Stay tuned for meaningful content in the coming weeks! As always, thank you for Living United!