The organization known today as United Way of Forsyth County originated in 1923 as the Community Chest of Forsyth County. The Community Chest federated the finances of twenty local health and welfare organizations, raising the money in one campaign and distributing it according to need among its member organizations. The Community Chest’s campaigns were called Red Feather drives. The first Community Chest goal was $28,000 with $38,215 actually raised.
Today, we are still a successful fundraiser — United Way of Forsyth County ranks #2 nationally in per capita giving — and continue to work hand in hand with our partner agencies. We align agency programs and resources to create the most direct and effective solutions to key social issues facing our community. Specifically, we focus on improving education, increasing financial stability among lower-income individuals and families, and broadening access to health care. United Way of Forsyth County also continues to provide assistance to those facing immediate crisis.
- Carver High School: 66.1% (2010) to 72.6% (2012
- North Forsyth High School: 74.1% (2011) to 82.3% (2012)
- Parkland Magnet High School: 65.8% (2008) to 74.3% (2012)
Collaborated with four partner agencies to establish Career Connections and The Prosperity Center, a one-stop financial center for lower-income individuals and families. Led by Goodwill Industries, it offers job training, job search opportunities, credit/budget counseling, financial literacy training and transportation assistance along with serving as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site and a satellite location for GED and ESL classes. A new Center was opened on the opposite side of town in 2011.
Since it opened in mid-2008, the Center has helped 618 individuals find jobs and assisted 682 individuals and families in reducing their debt (565 are now paying their bills on time).
Partnered with the Community Care Clinic, one of our 32 partner agencies, to form Med-Aid. Through Med-Aid, the un- and underinsured can get most of their medications for free through pharmaceutical companies. Currently, more than 900 medical providers are referring their un- and underinsured patients to Med-Aid. Since 2008, Med-Aid has made it possible for local people to receive prescription medication valued at more than $14 million for free from pharmaceutical companies.
- Sixty-seven percent of our community’s chronic homeless are remaining in permanent housing for one year or more, more than twice the 30 percent success rate of traditional programming.
- Since 2008, 482 new units of housing (361 permanent supportive, 121 transitional) have been adding in our community to house individuals who were previously homeless.
- Tocqueville Leadership Society: Includes those giving $10,000 or more annually. Current membership is 218 individuals and couples who gave a total of $3,366,104.
- Leadership Circle: Includes those giving $1,00o or more annually. Current membership is 3,928 individuals and couples who gave a total of $8,368,709 in 2011, 48 percent of our $17,325,000 campaign and 67 percent of all employee and individual giving.
- Women’s Leadership Council:The mission of the Women’s Leadership Council is to engage, educate and empower women to make a positive impact in Forsyth County. The Women’s Leadership Council’s mission is generously supported by a $1 million grant from the Reynolds American Foundation which allows new members access to matching funds totaling $200,000 annually for five years. In 2011, the Women’s Leadership Council grew to over 1,000 members and raised $450,000 in addition to the $200,000 Reynolds American Foundation match.
- Young Leaders United: Include individuals up to 40 years of age who pledge at least $250 annually and commit to 24 hours of volunteerism each year. Last year, nearly 1,100 Young Leaders pledged $700,000.