Established in 1922 to disburse funds for patriotic, war, charitable, philanthropic, and benevolent purposes; the organization created a legacy of safeguarding the welfare of Genesee County residents. During its 90 years, the United Way has been known by a variety of monikers: Flint Community Chest, Red Feather Fund, United Fund and finally the present name, United Way of Genesee County. No matter the name, the purpose of the organization never changed.
Whether it was the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights movement or the decline of the domestic automotive industry, the United Way and its predecessors conducted annual campaigns to raise funds from companies, organizations and individuals.
Initial campaigns annually raised between $100,000 and $200,000. In 1952 the campaign reached the $1 million milestone and increased steadily hitting $9 million in 1991. Even in the midst of recessions, job loss and population decline; the United Way campaign continues to raise and reinvest millions of dollars throughout Genesee County.
1922: Flint Community Chest was funded by John Pierce, W.S. Ballenger, G. W. Cook, Charles F. Barth, J. E. Burroughs, L.H. Bridgman, S. S. Stewart, Fred A. Aldrich and Merliss Brown in an effort to support those that could not share in the wealth and resources obtained from the newfound manufacturing prosperity.
1942: The Red Feather Organization was created to “act as an umbrella over the Community Chest and the United Health and Welfare Fund in Genesee County”.
1970: Red Feather broadened its scope and transformed into the United Fund of Genesee and Lapeer Counties.
1975: As community needs grew, it became increasingly apparent that the United Fund could not be the sole supporter for a select few agencies. This change in thinking resulted in the organization connecting to a much larger national network thus becoming the United Way of Genesee County.