After 100 years, the name has changed but the mission has stood the test of time

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

United Way for Southeastern Michigan is turning 100! Since 1917, the nonprofit, known then as Detroit Community Union, has served as the region’s unifier—convening the power of public, private and nonprofit partners. The organization has responded to the community’s most pressing challenges around children and family, health, and the community. In 2005, United Way Community Services and United Way of Oakland County evolved and voted to create a new organization—United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Although the name evolved, their core mission has never changed. Today, United Way is focused on ensuring people are educated, financially stable and healthy; and helping corporations and their employees contribute their time and resources back to their communities.

United Way will celebrate its centennial birthday with community and internal events throughout the year. Later this month, readers of Crain’s Detroit Business will notice a specially-designed cover on newsstands in recognition of the nonprofit’s 100th anniversary. United Way’s Anniversary Crain’s edition will feature an eight-page section dedicated to its community impact, as well as an acknowledgement of corporate and community partners. It will be the first time the iconic business publication has devoted its entire magazine cover to a charitable organization. United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 100th Anniversary /Crain’s Detroit Business edition will be on newsstands Feb. 27, and is sure to be a collector’s item.

“This celebration is truly in recognition of all of our donors, volunteers, and corporate and community partners who have joined us on this journey for 100 years,” says Herman Gray, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Without the community’s support and trust, United Way could not have become the impact organization it is today.”

United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 100 years of service to residents in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties will be celebrated in a variety of festive and unique ways, including:

  • Hosting a social media contest aimed at helping the nonprofit reach 10,000 followers on Facebook. Once the goal is met, followers will be randomly selected to win prizes.
  • Launching a new online volunteer portal to efficiently connect volunteers with community agencies. Initially, the portal will be available to corporate and community partners, and will eventually be expanded for use by the general public.
  • Later this year, hosting a community birthday party at Campus Martius, and a benefit gala to which the public is invited.