For many years, the current Agencies of HCUW had their own drive for funds. As the workers of the Agencies were feeling the pressure of constantly asking for funds, the donors were also seeing that they could not give to all the places asking for funding. So, in 1947 the "Community Chest" was organized.
A Board of Representatives was formed and the Chamber of Commerce was asked to help as a central place to accept the monies, and keep the records. Each agency presented a budget and workers to join the Board in outlining the campaign and distributing the money. This was soon working and the Board decided to hire an Executive Director to take care of the books and record keeping.
Soon this organization outgrew these arrangements and saw the need for professional campaign planning. Nationwide, trained fund-raisers were traveling to areas to organize the drives, and the Borger Board decided to try this. It was a big success and for several years it was shown to be a worth-while investment.
In 1968, the name was changed to Tri-City United Fund. Then in March of 1981, the named changed to Hutchinson County United Way, Inc. to coincide with the National campaign. This gives us training, the advantage of national publicity and other needed material and information.
In 2005, United Way started its annual Day of Caring. On this day members of the community volunteer their time and energy to help the elderly and the disabled with small service projects in and around their homes .
Today, HCUW raises funds for 15 Program Providers in the county. There is a 15 member volunteer Board of Directors that meets every other month at Borger Bank. The volunteer Campaign Committee consists of 10-15 members. There has always been one paid part-time Executive Director. In 2014 a part-time Executive Assistant position was created. HCUW is a member of United Way Worldwide and United Way of Texas.
Beginning in 2014, HCUW began transitioning to Community Impact. We are currently looking at our communities to see where we can make the most impact in changing the lives of the people we live with. Programs will be provided to not only help people with basic needs, but to begin changing the causes that put people in times of need. In 2015 we announced that Education will be our main initiative. HCUW will be focusing on funding programs that help people obtain an education that will transition them into a living wage job.
With our new transition to education, HCUW began hosting a county-wide Back To School Fair. In 2019, our fifth annual fair was held on the campus of Frank Phillips College. The four school districts of Borger, Fritch, Stinnett & Pringle Morse, through United Way funding, provided backpacks with a full school list to the students in need. Fifty (50) vendors provided booths which provided valuable information about services that might assist a family in need. Many community partners pulled resources together to purchase the supplies that were handed out at the event. Thank you to the many volunteers and the donors that are needed to host our Back to School Fair.
Needing additional funding for our new initiatives and wanting to show our donors how their money was being invested back into the community, we began kicking off our campaign with a BBQ Cook Off. September 14th, we held our 5th Annual Heat Up Hutchinson Kick Off Cook Off. We had 27 Cook Teams enter our event which provided delicious BBQ to those 1000 folks who were in attendance. On that day, we also hosted a Car Show and a Corn Hole Tournament. At the same time, our 15 Program Providers set up a booth with information and games for everyone to visit. This is a great family oriented day, bringing the community together for a good cause.
In December of 2019, HCUW was contacted by one of the Borger ISD principals requesting help for the students. They had just experience 3 suicides in a very short period of time. School staff saw a tough issue in the community and wanted to part of a solution to the problem. They asked how United Way might be able to help. A mental health taskforce was created with people from different sectors in the community; schools, minsters, health care professionals, UW Program Providers to name a few. Currently, January of 2022, with the results of a community health assessment, the taskforce is beginning to implement new behavior health helps in the community.
Hutchinson County United Way is continuing to grow and meet the needs of so many in our county. Thank you for the amazing amount of support that allows us to continue to serve.