Yesterday and Today. . . a history of Finney County United Way

 

In September of 1946, community volunteers and directors of charitable agencies decided to form a “Community Chest.”  The first organized fundraiser in our area, the Community Chest set out to raise $12,000.00 for the Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, China Relief Fund, USO, Cancer Fund and Recreation Fund.

During the ‘50’s, the group restructured itself and became the Finney County United Fund.  The United Fund supported these agencies:  Logopedics, Safety Council, Cancer Society, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and Kansas Children’s Service League.  All except the first three are United Way agencies today.

By the early ‘80’s, the United Fund had become Finney County United Way.  Agencies that had been added that remain United Way agencies today are the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Russell Child Development Center, Community Day Care and the YMCA.

By the year 2004, pledges exceeded $500,000. The 2015 Campaign grossed over $600,000.   Finney County’s largest employee based company, Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., contributed 40-50% of the total campaign goal.

Today, Finney County United Way funds 24 agencies.   United Ways across the country are moving into “community impact” which means adding measurable value to the community.  Finney County United Way looks at outcome-focused results that make the greatest difference in making the community a better place for families to live and work.