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Our History

United Way of Southeastern Connecticut is honored to continue its ongoing mission, "To change our community by helping people in need through responsible use of donations."

In 1962, the United Fund of Norwich and the Community Chest of Groton, New London, and Waterford merged to form United Community Services of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. The organization pledged itself to study the county's needs and the ways in which they can be met through volunteers and agencies and then to raise the money to support those agencies.

The first campaign in 1962, called the United Fund, raised $427,885 for programs at 34 agencies providing health, welfare and character-building services. That represented $38,000 more than the two separate agencies raised in total the prior year. Clearly, a successful enterprise had begun.

In 1975, the organization changed its name to United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and was raising nearly $1,000,000 each year to support the community.

In 1988, the community recognized that area shelters, pantries, soup kitchens and child care centers needed a center to purchase food in bulk. As a result, the United Way Labor Department Food Center was initiated. Today, the food center, known as the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center, distributes food to more than 80 member food distribution sites including shelters, child care programs, community meal sites, pantries, and programs for seniors. The Food Center also operates a mobile pantry that has ten monthly distribution sites throughout the county.

In 2016, United Way raised nearly $4.7 million for New London County. United Way supports an essential network of 75 LOCAL health and human service programs and initiatives that make meaningful, positive changes in the areas of education, income and health. Click here to view a list of all of these programs and initiatives.

Through the ongoing support of hundreds of companies and organizations in southeastern Connecticut, combined with the generous gifts of employees and residents, United Way is improving lives. By working together, we can make real lasting changes right here in our community and advance the common good for all of us. That's what it means to Live United.

If you would like to learn more about United Way and the community, consider becoming a volunteer for United Way's fund distribution process.