United Way of Will County History

United Way of Will County fights for the self-sufficiency, health, safety and education of every person in Will County. Through an extensive network of individuals, funded partners and corporate affiliates, United Way of Will County fosters collaborations, partnerships and develops solutions to the challenges facing our community.

These collective efforts have resulted in the direct aid to 1 in 3 community members.

The mission, to unite Will County communities and resources to empower people and create positive, sustainable change, is deeply rooted in United Way of Will County’s history beginning in 1936.

YEARS UNITED

United Way of Will County Timeline

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1936

After years of planning and fundraising, the Joliet Community Chest was established with initial funding of $64k

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1950

Introduction of the Red Feather, which symbolized strength, vitality and a healthy community

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1983

UWWC was asked to administer the Emergency Food & Shelter Federal Grant. To date, over $10M has been awarded to Will County Organizations

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1992

A friendly competition between the employees of Caterpillar and ComEd hits the golf course! The Annual Golf Classic is open to all and is still going strong

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2006

Aided in the formation of the Community Foundation of Will County

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2016

Community Impact evolution begins including focused, programmatic community based funding: community engagement initiatives and greater community presence

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2018

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1937

February 1, 1937
First Campaign Kickoff held at the Rialto Square Theatre

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1960

Our first “Fair Share” Campaign was nationally recognized for leading all US Chest Campaigns in overall campaign increases

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1990

The tornado tragedy led to the formation of the Will County Disaster Relief Fund, with UWWC coordinating the private donations to help those impacted

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1997

The Pillars Society of Will County, UWWC’s Leadership Giving Program was launched. The 104 founding donors each contributed gifts starting at $1,000 annually

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2008

Brought the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Discount Program to Will County. Residents since saved over $1.4M on prescription costs

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2016

Launched the Online Volunteer Center, dedicated to Br. James Gaffney: www.uwwill.galaxydigital.com

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2018

Read to Succeed” community impact initiative launched

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1942

Name changed to Joliet-Will County Community and War Chest to include U.S.O. support during WWII

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1963

A steering committee led the efforts to transition the JWCCC to a new, unified campaign, The results were the incorporation of the United Crusade of Will County

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1991

Aided in the formation of JAY (Joliet Alliance for Youth), a membership organization of youth providers

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2006

Aided in the formation of the South West Suburban Philanthropic Network (SWSPN) which provides professional development opportunities for non-profit professionals

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2013

All 20 Standards of Charitable Accountability, per the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, were met and still maintained today

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2016

Awarded highest ranking by Charity Navigator: 4-Star Charity

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2018

Community Baby Shower” community engagement event and distribution network launched

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1947

Name changed to Joliet-Will County Community Chest (JWCCC) to reflect broader community support

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1976

Named changed to United Way of Will County (UWWC)

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1991

Aided in the formation of the Warren-Sharpe Community Center, Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R), and Daybreak Homeless Center to meet unmet needs and provide comprehensive services to under served populations

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2006

Aided in the formation of MAPP-Mobilizing for Action Through Planning & Partnership, which provides collaborative platform for those committed to the health of our residents

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2014

Facing changes in philanthropy generational shifting & social technology innovation, UWWC was determined to learn, grow and evolve. Through the support of Caterpillar, the Community Foundation of Will County & ExxonMobile, our Strategic Plan was underway

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2016

Hygiene for Humanity community engagement initiative launched