In 1953, the Waterville Area Chamber of Commerce finally instituted the Waterville Area Community Chest after the idea had been “tossed around like a basketball” for several years, according to the COC’s president, Elias Joseph.
The Community Chest was established so that many agencies providing welfare, philanthropic, benevolent, and recreational services throughout Fairfield, Oakland, Waterville, and Winslow could benefit from a single, 5- to 6-week fundraising campaign each fall.
Every year, to celebrate the kickoff of the “Red Feather Campaign”, local bands, floats, color guards, and sometimes even Smokey the Bear participated in the kickoff parade through downtown Waterville.
In 1970, due to the confusion of local organizations throughout the country using over 100 different names, the national office adopted the name United Way of America. In the years to follow, most of the associated Community Organization Societies, Community Chests, United Funds, and others adopted the United Way name, and so, too, did the Greater Waterville United Way.
By 1979, our service area had grown to serve 25 towns and cities in Kennebec, Somerset, and Waldo counties, so we became known as United Way of Mid-Maine. Today, we serve all of Somerset, northern Kennebec, and western Waldo counties.
And we do so much more than fundraise.
From our ongoing Pantry Project, to summer’s Stuff the Bus campaign, to Keeping Mid-Me Warm through the winter, UWMM serves the community all year long. We don’t just give money to our partner agencies, we provide volunteers, supplies, manpower, and voices.
Join us in building a stronger community. Whether you give, volunteer, or advocate, great things happen when we Live United!