95 years of building a stronger Miami

95 years of building a stronger Miami 2019-10-17T11:14:49-05:00

Throughout our 95-year history – from the Miami Community Chest to the United Fund to today’s United Way of Miami-Dade – we have been an enduring force for good, embracing an ever-changing community, responding to the emerging needs and transforming people’s lives.

1969

1969

United Fund expands services to assist migrant workers and their families working in south Dade County.

1965

1965

Dade residents raise additional funds to help the victims of Hurricane Betsy.

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1962

1962

After getting off to a rocky start, United Fund celebrates first successful drive. The campaign raises $2,907,090 with increased focus on year-round payroll deduction for employees, based on one hour’s pay a month.

1960

1960

United Fund president and former senator Harry Cain reveals a series of reporting errors by “well-intentioned but misguided” United Fund staff during the previous two campaigns. Cain ushers in new era of accountability with greater oversight and stricter regulations.

United Fund joins with city leaders to form “Cuban Refugee Committee” to help feed, clothe and find employment for the thousand of refugee’s fleeing Fidel Castro’s regime. The committee also works to secure additional federal and state funding.

United Fund launches the Loaned Executive program, where individuals are “loaned” by the companies to assist the 12-week campaign. The highly successful program continues to this day.

1957

1957

The Community Chest becomes the United Fund of Dade County. Approximately 15,000 women volunteer to make door-to-door solicitations. James L. Knight, the Miami Herald, serves as the United Fund’s first Chairman.

1956

1956

Administrative offices of the Community Chest and 13 of the 23 Chest agencies move to a new home at 395 NW 1st Street made possible by a $100,000 contribution from Mr. Abess and Baron de Hirsch Meyer.

1953

1953

Campaigning moves from door-to-door to the workplace. Workers are encouraged to give “one hour’s pay per month” and Community Chest donations soar to an unprecedented $1 million for the first time.

1951

1951

Following several difficult campaign years, Community Chest introduces new accounting procedures, including a budget review board to regularly audit for partner agencies. Under the leadership of Leonard Abess, Sr., of City National Bank, Chest regains footing and raises $880,164 the following year – more then any other campaign in the organization’s history.

Chest introduces a new way of giving – the Fair Share Plan allows employees to contribute a certain portion of their earnings through a payroll deduction system. Donations are divided between the Community Chest agencies, as well as the USO and the Red Cross. The program, spearheaded by McGregor Smith at Florida Power & Light, encourages donors to give one-hour’s pay per month.

1942

1942

Annual drive of Community Chest combined with the War Chest to support local organizations and national agencies supporting World Way II. Additional support given to child welfare programs and day nurseries for children of working mothers, as well as, families dislocated by the war.

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1941

1941

Rather than simply rely on door-to-door solicitations, Miami Chest leaders introduce the “unit account system,” which encourages companies to conduct individual campaigns with specific goals tailored to their firm. The step is hailed as an innovation in fundraising and remains a key United Way strategy.