Our Story is your story

In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi got together... It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but they didn't walk into a bar; what they did do was recognize the need to work together in new ways to make Denver a better place.

They put together an idea that became the nation's first united campaign, benefiting 10 local health and welfare agencies. Afterwards, the group created an organization to collect funds for local charities, coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and to make emergency assistance grants for cases that could not be referred.

That year, Denver was home to  a movement that would become United Way.

Over time, the organization grew to become the largest privately funded non-profit organization in the world, present in 41 countries with more than 1800 local offices.


United Way of Columbia County opened its doors in 1955 with a mission that still stands today: "to increase the organized capacity of people to care for another." The first campaign was held in 1956 and $78,000 were raised for 11 member agencies.

In 2017, a merge with the Danville Area United Way was completed, creating the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties.

Today, we collaborate with volunteer organizations, community leaders and local businesses to develop long-term solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges.

We honor the community members who continue to make it possible to fulfill our mission and help make the community a better place. We are especially grateful for the leadership of our previous executive directors, John Thomas of United Way of Columbia County, and Francis Moyer of Danville Area United Way.

Our current President and CEO, Adrienne Mael, would like to acknowledge the contributions of both past and current volunteer leaders (board, campaign and committee members) for ensuring that United Way can continue to serve the communities of Columbia and Montour counties.

And with our community members, our story will go on for generations to come. We are building our history and legacy by LIVING UNITED.