In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi got together…It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but they didn’t walk into a bar; what they did do was recognize the need to work together in new ways to make Denver a better place. Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J. O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put together an idea that became the nation’s first united campaign that benefitted 10 area health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to collect the funds for local charities, to coordinate relief services, to counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and to make emergency assistance grants for cases that could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 for the greater good, and created a movement that would become United Way.
Locally, United Way has been serving Laramie County since 1948. Over the years, our name has changed and we’ve shifted our business focus from a fundraising organization to a community change agent. We are firmly rooted in this community and are invested in making Laramie County a better place for families and individuals to call home.
The Community Chest organization was established with its Red Feather logo that became a national symbol, which many people still remember today. Business leaders across the country viewed the Community Chest as an efficient and effective way to distribute funds to organizations that needed support. The Community Chest also helped businesses demonstrate their interest in sustaining their communities.
The name was changed to United Fund of Laramie County, Inc.
The name was changed to United Way of Laramie County.
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