History of United Way of Williamson County

In January 2022, United Way of Williamson County joined forces with United Way for Greater Austin. The two organizations merged, to expand and deepen our impact in the Austin metro area.

125 Years of United Way

In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems. Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J. O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart, and Rabbi William S. Friedman put their heads together to plan the first united campaign for ten health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to serve as an agent to collect funds for local charities, as well as to coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and make emergency assistance grants in cases which could not be referred.  That year, Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the country to become the United Way.

More than 125 years later, United Way is still focused on mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people’s lives. Read more…

The United Way Movement in Williamson County

By 1948, there were over 1,000 communities  – Taylor and Georgetown included – that had established United Way organizations commonly known as Community Chests. Taylor was one of the first in the state of Texas to join the movement by establishing the Taylor Community Chest in 1939. In 1962, Round Rock created the United Fund to help area residents in need.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the name “United Way” was adopted for use and all United Way’s benefitted from a new partnership with the NFL designed to increase public awareness of social service issues facing the country.

The Taylor United Way was officially dissolved in 2003 and became part of the United Way of Greater Williamson County. With offices based in Round Rock, United Way of Greater Williamson County expanded its service to include Taylor, Hutto and the rapidly growing Round Rock area.

In 2005, Georgetown United Way and United Way of Greater Williamson County merged to become United Way of Williamson County.  By combining resources and efforts, this merger united the efforts and resources of the community to respond most effectively to the needs of the Williamson County community.

Following the nationwide movement towards community impact goals, United Way of Williamson County adopted a community impact model in 2008 and maintains its focus on creating opportunities for a good life by investing in education, financial stability, health and basic needs.

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