The mission of united way of the coastal empire is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities.
In 1938, the Community Chest was formed to address the needs of the Coastal Empire. The first campaign goal was set at $140,000 and was achieved that same year. In 1950, the Community Welfare Federation of Savannah-Chatham County was formed. It was only a matter of months before the Board of Directors voted to change the name to United Community Services of Savannah-Chatham County (UCS), a name that remained until 1975.
Our organization set up its first information and referrals system in 1951, the Red Feather Information and Referral Line. The name changed several times until 2001 it became United Way 211 as we know it today.
In 1973, the United Way Helping Hand Rainbow replaced the United “U,” the original symbol used by UCS, and in 1975 the name United Way was officially adopted.
1983 was the year that the Coastal Area Voluntary Action Center (VAC) merged with United Way.
1997 was an important year for the United Way of the Coastal Empire. In July, the community learned of a trust that Herschel V. Jenkins, the former publisher of the Savannah Morning News, set aside in the amount of $500,000 for UCS in 1955 that had grown to $13,000,000. The corpus would remain intact, while the income accrued would be used for administrative and yearly campaign costs.
By 2004, all four counties of Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty were now areas serviced by United Way.
2009 welcomed the Women United and the Young Leaders Society as affinity groups to further engage donors with the mission of United Way.
In 2015, our United Way was awarded the highest level four-star rating by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent evaluator of charitable organizations. Our United Way is among two percent of charities receiving this distinction for fiscal responsibility.
2018 marked our 80th anniversary.