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Celebrating a century

of helping others

 Local citizens and community leaders banded together to create United Way of the Midlands’ prototype, The Community Chest. We were, and still are, dedicated to responding to the community’s needs, by investing dollars in local health and human service programs that make the most impact. In our first year, funds were allocated among 30 participating nonprofit agencies in Douglas County.
34 - 1933
  • With the introduction of federal relief programs, the Community Chest changed its focus to those unable to receive government aid. The organization’s 1934 annual campaign lasted 10 days with a goal to raise $554,800

Built upon a mutual desire to create a better, stronger and more vibrant community – a partnership is established with the Omaha Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO to work together and strengthen the metro area for generations to come.


Omaha was one of the few communities to pioneer a national   model for a single organization dedicated to all facets of nonprofit fundraising and program investment…and the organization started calling ourselves United Community Services. Also, the Red Feather became a symbol of the annual campaign

“Volunteerism” was added to the organization’s mission, increasing opportunities for the community to participate in supporting our cause.
  • The “Citizens of the Year” award was established to recognize individuals for their commitment and dedication to our community

  •  We officially became “United Way of the Midlands”

  • UWM combined forces with United Way of Council Bluffs to expand fundraising efforts in the greater metro area
  • The Tocqueville Society was established. The charter group included 12 members whose vision and belief in the community has spurred others to join and give. Since its inception, the Society has notably raised over $117 million for the Omaha-Council Bluffs community.

  • The Court-Referred Community Service Program (CRCSP) was created. This program, with support from Douglas County, refers criminal offenders to agencies for completion of judge-ordered community service. The CRCSP assists an average of 300 clients annually
  • UWM’s 211 Helpline expanded from four counties in 2002 to overing the entire state by 2010. The 211 Helpline is a free service that provides multiple points of access for those looking to recieve assistance easily and confidently via phone, text, email or online chat.

  • Led by Ken Stinson, a committee of local leaders explored the area’s needs and UWM’s role in the community. This led to a transformational strategic plan that called for expanded fundraising and the establishment of an open grant process – allowing more local nonprofits to apply for funding and partner with UWM to meet defined goals and community needs

  • The Corporate Partners of the Year awards are established to recognize organizations that go above and beyond to support UWM and our community.

  • JAG Nebraska is established in collaboration with Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Labor. An evidenced-based, for-credit classroom elective, JAG helps students develop their skillsets to overcome the many challenges they face – all while setting them up for success in the classroom, workplace and life
  UWM partnered with the Omaha World-Herald to administer the Goodfellows program. Also in 2020, we expanded our partnership with MUD & OPPD through the 211 Helpine for utilities assistance and secured CARES funding for housing stability – allowing us to provide support for a variety of housing -related needs.
  • Through a partnership with Mayor Jean Stothert and the City of Omaha, UWM was selected to distribute $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to agencies in the metro area

  • Today, UWM continues to serve the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro by bridging the business and not-for-profit sectors to create a Circle of Support that helps our neighbors overcome difficult challenges and start building a better

    future. For fiscal year 2021-22, UWM raised $36 million to support programs and direct services that address social and economic disparities and meet families’ essential needs such as healthy food, safe and stable housing, physical and mental health services, career preparation and job training.





100 Years of Giving Back and Looking Forward