The first combined agency fund drive in Findlay, Ohio, was named the Three-Way Drive of Youth Activities, consisting of Camp Fire Girls, YMCA, and Boy Scouts. This was organized in the 1930’s and was prompted by the fact that many donors were interested in all three organizations. Agencies such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and others also conducted their own campaigns.
Because of an increased demand in the community for money, personal time, and effort, a group of leading citizens recommended to the Findlay Chamber of Commerce that an extensive study of fund-raising campaigns be made by individuals who had the interest of the community at heart. The result was a decision to form a consolidated fund raising group that would reduce the expense, time, and effort required throughout the year by separate agencies to raise funds. That group was named the “United Community Fund” and was incorporated in 1955. The original agencies included Boy Scouts, Camp Fire USA, Cancer Patient Services, Girl Scouts, Hancock County Mental Health Association, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and YMCA. The first offices were located in the Ohio Oil Company (now Marathon).
In 1975, the name “United Community Fund” was changed to United Way of Hancock County. Since its inception in 1955, United Way has gone from doing fund-raising for a handful of organizations in Hancock County to funding well over 150 programs and services at more than 18 nonprofit agencies serving residents of Hancock County.
United Way of Hancock County has taken on many initiatives. Most recently, the organization collaborated with groups such as HHWP Community Action Commission and Ohio Department of Transportation to develop the Hancock Area Transportation Services (HATS). United Way of Hancock County has also developed free tax clinics to assist low income families with tax preparation. And finally, United Way brought together 17 funders to initiate the Hancock County 2-1-1 help line which was in place by January, 2009 and continues to serve as a critical community resource.
"Live United" makes clear that all of us have a stake in each other's success. Our history proves that we play a vital role in advancing the common good.