United Way of the CSRA is steeped in a rich heritage of volunteer leadership, fundraising and community service spanning over eight decades.
In 2011, United Way of the CSRA celebrated 75 years of service to the local community and moved into a new home on the Ray and Joan Kroc Salvation Army Corps Community Center campus; also known as the “First Stop Village” (1765 Broad Street).
And now, more than 75 years after that first campaign, the children and grandchildren of those early visionaries are embracing that same commitment to making the CSRA a better place to live through their support of United Way.
With the advent of the Savannah River Project in 1951, approximately 45,000 workers and their families moved to Richmond and Aiken Counties. This brought about the need for a new approach to health and welfare services, and the Character Coalition evolved into the Community Chest.
In 1936, a group of local businessmen and community leaders formed the Character Coalition in an effort to unite community fundraising efforts. This first fundraising effort achieved a campaign of $80,000 with funds distributed to five youth-serving agencies, the YMCA, YWCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the Salvation Army. That $80,000 would now be estimated at over $1.4 million. The campaign quickly increased to nearly $150,000 by the end of its first decade of existence.
In 1956, after considerable collaboration between agencies in Augusta and North Augusta, leaders in both communities decided to join forces and conduct one joint campaign. During this period of time the Community Chest grew to be called the United Fund.
Through the years, the United Fund grew, and in 1974 a new campaign structure was developed which resulted in the first $1 million campaign which funded programs in 26 member agencies. In 1975, the United Fund moved from its location in the Bankers First Building to its new location at 630 Ellis Street in Augusta, Georgia.
United Way soon underwent several name changes in the 1980's, finally changing to United Way of the CSRA in 1982.
United Way of the CSRA raised its first $2 million campaign.
In 2006, the community raised $4,416,203, the largest amount ever raised by this United Way.
in 1986, United Way of the CSRA celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
United Way's 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service took their first phone call.
In 2014, United Way of the CSRA's 2-1-1 department celebrated ten years of providing resource assistance to the community, with services available to residents of our 15-county service area.
In 2015, United Way of the CSRA launched the Legacy Impact Forever (LIFE) Planned Giving and Endowment Fund.
Our United Way has raised $142,370,453 to support local non-profits and the community since 1936.