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.

1939

1939

Community Chest of Dade County is reorganized and incorporated. Under the leadership of Chairman Leonard K. Thomson, Miamians are urged to “give once for all, but enough for all.” The campaign raises $233,000 for 23 agencies.

1933

1933

Chest struggles to stay afloat in the midst of Great Depression and ultimately suspends its fundraising campaign, but vows to keep office open to help guide welfare agencies.

1930

1930

William J. Matheson bequeaths $40,000 the Miami Community Chest, the organization’s first major gift.

1928

1928

Al Capone buys a winter home on Palm Island; one year later the notorious Chicago mafia boss donates $1,000 to the Miami Community Chest (Chest officials later decide not to accept the gift).

1926

1926

United Way Campaign Chairman R.B. (Roddy) Burdine mobilizes 25,000 workers in the wake of the 1926 Hurricane. The Category 4 storm, which left 113 dead and widespread damage, effectively ends Miami’s real estate boom and together with the 1929 Stock Market Crash ushers in nearly a decade of hardship.

1924

1924

Miami Community Chest, the precursor to United Way of Miami-Dade, holds its first campaign. The three-day drive raises $136,095 to support 12 local agencies, including Salvation Army, American Red Cross and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). E.B. Douglas serves as the first organization’s chairman.