When We Unite as One
Change Maker Sponsor - United Way of Greater Toledo

When We Unite as One

In 1918, the First World War was finally over and across the globe, countless communities began to rebuild. In this same year, a collective group of business owners, religious clerics and community advocates, came together with an idea.

In their small, drafty downtown office, they brought an extraordinary vision to fruition…

The “Toledo War Chest”, a then small nonprofit, was signed into its official founding, and would do what seemed lost after the passing of this dark, historical hour: Uplift and create opportunity for those struggling in our community. 

Community War Chest Pins

Over the course of a century, this group morphed into an organization we now know as United Way.

Since 1918, over $600 million have flowed from United Way's doors and out to those in need.

Some of our partners have been here since the very beginning, and others are just now joining us.

Today, we provide funding for 68 community programs at 53 local agencies. These are institutions that help progress our mission to strengthen the areas of education, health and financial stability.

Despite tragedies, disasters and economic uncertainty; the donors, volunteers and advocates of United Way stood tall and carried our mission to improve lives. Because when we work together, when we stand United, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, we are able to witness the true power of kindness and empathy.

United Way Toledo Volunteers

These are the unwavering values that kept us here for one hundred years, and will keep us here for a hundred more years to come.

We are taking a new step forward in sharing the stories that continue to shape our community. We welcome you to our first post on the Change Maker Blog, and invite you to continue visiting this space, where we look forward to highlighting stories of the difference-makers, hand-raisers and game-changers in the community we love.


This first post is dedicated to our Retire United volunteers, who together, worked for hours over days and months to research images and facts around our history and roots. Thank you!

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Best of 2018: Reflecting on our Community’s Story

Monday, December 10, 2018

This year, United Way celebrated its centennial anniversary, launched a new blog, assembled foster care kits and packed thousands of backpacks for students in need (to name a few.) Since 1918, when we began as the Toledo War Chest, then the Community Chest, to what we are today: we are 100 years strong because of your unwavering support.

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Finding Tomorrow: The Long Road To Financial Freedom

Monday, December 10, 2018

I’ve always dreamed of owning my own home. Yet, when Michael, my husband of 30 years passed away, that dream felt shattered. Michael and I had spent countless hours talking about the day we would buy our very first home together and now, that day would never come...

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Letters To Santa: Sorting Bills at the Kitchen Table

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

“How do you tell two toddlers Daddy’s home because he lost his job, Mommy’s gone because she had to get a part-time, seasonal job to help make ends meet, and there may be no money for Christmas presents this year…”

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  • Centennial