The United Way of Hamblen County is a combined fund-raising campaign. Back in 1955, as the story goes, two Hamblen County community leaders, one a banker and one a businessman, met for lunch. The banker told the businessman it was time for the annual Heart Fund drive and would he like to make a contribution. The businessman told the banker yes. He wrote the banker a check.
Then the businessman remembered the Boy Scouts were having their annual fund drive and would the banker like to make a donation. The banker agreed to contribute and he pulled out his checkbook and wrote the businessman a check.
After all this fundraising talk and the check writing took place, their lunch was cold. The two men decided there must be a better way to meet the needs of all the non-profit agencies than just exchanging checks. These men looked for a way to combine these fundraising appeals and condense them. The United Way of Hamblen County was founded.
Today’s United Way of Hamblen County combines all those aspects while still remaining completely autonomous and “home grown.” United Way’s once a year fund drive strives to meet the needs of 20 agencies in one combined appeal.
The United Way of Hamblen County office operates year-round, distributing allocated funds, acting as a center for volunteer activities and a resource to volunteers who conduct the yearly campaign. It has a staff of two and is monitored by a 30-member volunteer board of directors.