The WAY Begins

The WAY Begins

The Way Begins With...United Way

The WAY Begins With You

United Way of Greater St. Joseph began as a way for our community to come together to improve lives in a united way, a more inclusive way than individual churches, synagogues, civic groups, agencies and residents could do on their own. By bringing all together, we are able to work towards creating lasting change in our community.


Traditionally, United Way has been known for harnessing the caring power of community through giving, advocating and volunteering and is most well-known for the annual United Way Campaign which is underway now. Through the Campaign, hundreds of businesses and thousands of individuals are invited to make pledges to improve lives through the caring power of community.


The majority of dollars raised through the annual Campaign are allocated to the network of United Way Partner Agencies to help sustain their current programs and services. More than 150 volunteers are involved in deciding how those donor dollars are allocated.


A portion of each year’s Campaign is held in a grant making fund called the United Way Community Investment Fund. Through this grant opportunity, area non-profits that meet United Way’s criteria in financial accountability, program delivery and outcomes are eligible to apply for grants to further meet community or agency needs.


Giving to and through United Way continues to be one of the most impactful, effective and efficient ways for individuals and businesses to improve lives in our community. When the lives of our friends and neighbors are improved, we all are made better and our community made stronger.


A gift to United Way does not impact a single agency nor a single program- it impacts dozens of agencies, hundreds of programs and thousands of individuals. Additionally, supporters and community members can rest assured that strong volunteer involvement and oversight ensures those receiving funding from United Way are:

• being held accountable for the dollars they receive from United Way

• working together to reduce duplication of efforts and increase efficiency

• considering new approaches to address the needs of our community

• collaborating to meet unmet community needs


United Way collaborates with others to fill gaps and respond in unplanned and unexpected ways when gaps are recognized. Examples of this include the creation of United Way’s Housing Stability Program, COVID Relief Fund, disaster response and facilitation of planning for community issues such as winter emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness, child care availability and more.


Donors to United Way of Greater St. Joseph are supporting the work of United Way and that work is creating paths of opportunity and hope right here, where we live and call home.


The Work of United Way of Greater St. Joseph

The work of United Way lives at the intersection of donors and community needs and is carried out through supporting the United Way Network of 17 Partner Agencies, operation of seven Initiatives and being an active, connected and responsive community organization.


The United Way Initiatives include:

Financial Stability: Providing opportunities for individuals and families to become financially self-sufficient since 2009.

Leadership St. Joseph: Building the skills of individuals to be effective leaders in the community since 1982.

  • The program has graduated nearly 1,000 participants since 1982.

Profit in Education©: Improving the education level of the potential and current workforce since 1989.

  • United Way Reading Adventure connected volunteers with more than 200 students through seven sites last year.
  • Hundreds of area children received books through United Way Take A Book Tuesday in partnership with Second Harvest’s No Hunger Summer in 2022.
  • More than 65 local professionals shared with more than 1,000 students about their careers in business, skilled trades, information technology, public safety and healthcare through United Way Speakers’ Bureau last year.

SingleCare® Prescription Assistance: Saving residents money on prescription medication with a free prescription discount card since 2007.

  • In 2022 area residents saved $217,817 on prescription medications.

Success By 6®: Preparing children to be successful learners when they begin kindergarten since 1999.

  • Early care and education providers recorded 1,212 hours of training through workshops, events and sessions organized by United Way Success By 6 in 2022.
  • In 2022 assistance was offered to child care providers applying for grants from the State of Missouri resulting in more than $2.25 million in grants which helped sustain 2,168 licensed child care slots and create 246 new slots.
  • More than 400 United Way Success By 6 Baby Bags were provided to families with newborns at Mosaic Life Care in partnership with Parent Educators from the St. Joseph School District last year.
  • United Way KinderClub was offered in four area school districts in 2022.

Unmet Needs: Collaborating to connect people in need to resources to solve immediate needs with lasting impact since 1993.

Volunteer Center: Connecting the community through volunteerism since 2009.

  • In 2022, 92 unique volunteer opportunities were shared by 25 local agencies on United Way Volunteer Center’s online site.
  • More than 200 volunteers collected more than 21,000 school supply items through United Way STUFF THE BUS! School Supplies Drive last year.
  • In 2022, the United Way TEAM PLAYER Award program was introduced as a partnership with the St. Joseph Mustangs to highlight and celebrate the impact volunteers have in our community.


What else does United Way do?

United Way’s role goes beyond raising and allocating dollars and implementation of initiatives and programming. In recent years, United Way has participated in several community coalitions, committees, task forces and efforts that improve the community. In many cases, United Way is an active participant, providing staff resources, leadership, facilitation, advocacy and action.

Donors, volunteers, agencies and initiatives combine to create a network of caring.

United Way

2040United Way & Imagine St. Joseph 2040

United Way of Greater St. Joseph and the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce engaged more than 1,000 residents in 2018 to draft a plan for the future of St. Joseph which is known today as Imagine St. Joseph 2040. The plan was built on 5 principles including: Every life is of equal value. St. Joseph’s future requires each person reaching his or her full potential. The United Way network is aligned with Imagine St. Joseph 2040 and working to create opportunities for all to reach their potential.

Funds raised during the 2023 Campaign will support United Way Partner Agencies and Initiatives that provide resources and services to people in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas in 2024.

United Way of Greater St. Joseph is a non-profit agency that improves lives in the areas of education, health and financial stability by harnessing the caring power of community. United Way supports 17 local Partner Agencies and operates seven Initiatives. You can LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering. To learn more, visit and follow @UnitedWayStJoe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. 

Click here to see how United Way is a Network of Caring.

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Click here to see how The WAY Begins with...United Way.