We believe that all people should have the opportunity to be educated, engaged, prosperous, and healthy. In all things, the we before the me.

The Beginning associated charities of helena

The United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area (UWLCA) can trace its beginning back to 1893 when it was known as the Associated Charities of the City of Helena. The Associated Charities of Helena encouraged community members to pool their money to take care for people in need in the community. The “campaign goal” in 1898? $500. Community leader, R.E. Fisk (a.k.a Elizabeth Fisk), in a letter requested that 500 community members each contribute $1 to reach this goal.

comm chest

Serving our Community 

In 1914, the organization became known as the Helena Community Chest Association. Although our community has grown and changed substantially since then, the concept that established the Community Chest remains the same.

A quote from a campaign poster in 1943 describes the Community Chest’s method as:
One in which the annual drives of various agencies are coordinated into one drive, thus saving time and effort, both for the members and the friends of these various agencies as well as for the agencies themselves. It allows the agencies to do what they do best, helping people in need. Their goal was, to make Helena a better more humanitarian place to live.
Initially, there were 12 agencies represented by the Community Chest. Four of these agencies remain UWLCA partner agencies today: Boy Scouts, YMCA, Florence Crittenton Home and Services, and the Salvation Army.

Growth through the Years

In October 1966 the name of the Helena Community Chest was officially changed to the United Givers of the Lewis and Clark County, as the Board adopted by-laws and became a formal 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization.

The name was later changed to United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area to reflect the three county (Broadwater, Jefferson, and Lewis and Clark) service area. Today, the board is comprised of 16 members. These members are community leaders dedicated to the betterment of the community from the local nonprofit, public (government), and private sectors. Today, the organization supports and coordinates 31 nonprofit partner agencies. The annual campaign goal exceeds $700,000. Of which, 99% stays right here in our local community.

Our Continued Commitment 

Although the United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area has grown significantly over the decades, much remains constant.

Our mission continues to be focused on helping people in our community.

We believe that all people should have the right to be educated, knowledgeable, prosperous, and healthy.

 In all things, the we before the me.

We continue to fund partner agencies, local health and human service organizations. Our partner agencies remain dedicated to caring for our children, mentoring our youth, helping low income families become self-sufficient, helping our senior citizens and residents with functional and access needs remain active and independent, and responding to individual, family, and community emergencies.