2024 marks an important milestone for United Way for Greater Austin: 100 years serving the community.
In the course of 100 years, things are bound to change, but no matter what happens – global pandemics, natural disasters, inequity across different groups – you can always count on community. Whether it’s the one you grew up in or you just got here yesterday.
United Way for Greater Austin was here before the Great Depression. Before the Second World War. We grew roots long before the first man landed on the moon and well before Austin’s largest population boom in the 90s. Alongside community partners and leaders, we’ve grown to become a steady and powerful force for driving change, through large and small moments. And throughout our evolutions over the last century, the enduring thread that weaves us together, then and now, is community.
It’s a community that’s been lovingly built and rebuilt by the hands of Greater Austin. It’s been a respite, a village, a friend, and a catalyst for creating equal opportunity. One where every child is set up for success with high-quality early care and education. Where everyone is connected to essential resources they need, when they need them.
As we lay the foundation for our next 100 years, we are supported by a century of building opportunity and driving change:
- Founding of United Way for Greater Austin, originally called United Way Capital Area
- Local residents raise $611 for families with low income, equal to more than $10,000 today
- As unemployment reaches 25%, United Way responds to the community’s need for resources
- We help more than 10,000 individuals and families access food and resources and help children and the elderly find safe homes
- United Way pledges to keep all funds raised local
- When you give, your dollars stay here to make a sustainable impact
- United Way assesses the community’s needs to solve the biggest challenges in the region, including access to essential resources like education, employment, housing, and child care
- We mobilize 560 volunteers across the region to do hands-on volunteer work at our first “Day of Caring”
- United Way opens first “call for help” helpline
- Today the helpline is known as our Navigation Center, where anyone can dial 2-1-1 to reach a free, confidential, and multilingual resource hub 24/7
- Helpline changes its name to 2-1-1, and becomes the first 2-1-1 center in Texas
- Our name changes from United Way Capital Area to United Way for Greater Austin
- The name better reflects our long history and ties to the Greater Austin region
Volunteers pose in front of “You’re My Butter Half,” mural, United Way’s love letter to the Greater Austin community
- United Way publishes the first iteration of the “School Readiness Action Plan,” now known as Success By 6
- Our goal: To ensure every child enters Kindergarten ready to succeed in school and beyond.
- We convene 200 stakeholders to create the first community-wide strategic plan for 2-Generation (2-Gen) in the nation
- United Way launches Family Connects in Austin/Travis County, in partnership with Austin Public Health
- The program provides nurse home visits to every family with a newborn to give babies the best possible start in life
- United Way partners with Austin Community Foundation to create All Together ATX, a COVID-19 relief fund
- The fund raised and awarded approximately $7.7 million to more than 210 local nonprofits
- We provide resources as Winter Storm Uri threatened access to basic needs, harnessing the power of our community like never before
- United Way of Williamson County joins forces with United Way for Greater Austin
- The merger expands and deepens our impact in the Greater Austin region
- United Way develops a new strategic framework that aims to accelerate individuals’ and families’ ability to thrive by providing high-quality early care and education and essential resources for everyone in our region
- The plan lays a strong foundation as we enter our next 100 years
United Way team visits former Pease Elementary, the future home for United Way, where we will will partner with an organization to provide high-quality child care on the campus.
And now, in a time where community is more important than ever, we invite you to be a part of ours.