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United Way International

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United Way International

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 45 countries and territories.
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It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on education, income and health. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action — to give, advocate and volunteer — to improve the conditions in which they live.

History

The United Way concept was founded in Colorado, USA in 1887. In the mid 1900s local United Ways founded a national organization, later called United Way of America, to support them with training, coordination, advocacy, the sharing of best practices, and more.

In 1928, a Community Chest organization was established in Cape Town, South Africa — the first United Way outside North America.[1] By 1974, there were enough United Way organizations internationally to demand the kind of support provided by the national organization, United Way of America, and United Way International was born. Its staff spoke eight languages, with a Board of Directors from more than seven countries, working with member organizations in 45 countries and territories outside the US.

In May 2009, United Way of America and United Way International were integrated as one global entity, United Way Worldwide.

Global expansion

In its first 100 years, the United Way network reached 20 countries. Since 1990, United Ways have been created in 25 additional countries.

United Ways worldwide are uniquely driven by local volunteers and professional leadership. In communities around the world, United Ways convene local leaders to identify needs and create strategies that allow individuals and families to experience economic and human success through educational achievement, income stability and healthy lives. They provide, assist or promote:

  • Community needs assessments
  • Information and referral to human service agencies
  • Fostering information exchange and collaboration among service agencies
  • Community fundraising campaigns inviting all people to give, and not just the wealthy
  • Organizational activities and money managed according to a strategy, a budget, and strict financial controls
  • Community planning committees, bringing agencies, donors, city leaders and other groups to a single table to address problems together
  • Allocation of funds to carefully investigated agencies, based on the community councils’ strategies
  • Volunteering

United Way in France

United Way Tocqueville (UWT) was created in France as a non-profit organization, and a part of the largest private charitable organization in the world, United Way Worldwide. UWT's ambition is to gather together the economic, political and social leaders to initiate collective community efforts to solve social problems.

United Way New Zealand

United Way New Zealand (UWNZ), officially known as United Way (NZ) Inc., was established in 1975 as the United Way of Greater Auckland. In 1998, the geographic scope of the organization was expanded, and the name was changed to reflect the new national focus.

Response to earthquakes in Chile, Haiti and Japan

United Way's local organization in Chile, along with other United Way organizations throughout Latin America have mobilized to respond to the earthquake that hit Chile on February 27, 2010. They provided support in areas with the most pressing long-term recovery needs.

In the wake of a natural disaster, United Way's role is to support long-term recovery efforts to rebuild lives and communities affected by a disaster and to address educational, financial and health-related challenges.

United Way Worldwide established the United Way Worldwide Disaster Fund,[2] introduced a text-to-give program, and is coordinating the integration of efforts from United Ways around the world. United Way Worldwide has worked with the United States government – the White House, Congress, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and to underscore the vital role of U.S. and international NGOs in Haiti's long-term recovery.[3]

Immediately following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, United Way began raising crucial funds needed for the Central Community Chest of Japan, part of the United Way worldwide network. Almost 90 volunteer centers have been set up throughout the country at the prefectural, municipal, district, and community levels. As of March 22, eight consultants and 23 volunteer coordinators have been dispatched to Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Aomori Prefecture, with another 68 coordinators preparing for dispatch. The Central Community Chest of Japan has helped provide supplies to volunteer centers including: bicycles, mattresses, cell phones, and laptops. Additional supplies requested by the volunteer centers include motorbikes, prefab houses and tents, copy and fax machines, PCs and printers.

The Central Community Chest of Japan is collaborating with 43 affiliated non-profit organizations through the Council for Disaster Relief Project for Volunteers. This number is expected to grow rapidly as transportation conditions continue to improve.[4]

See also

References

External links

  • Official website of United Way Tocqueville France
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