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Mission
To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities in the Itasca area. 

Vision 
We will build a stronger Itasca area by improving people’s lives.

About Us
We are working to advance the common good focusing on the critical needs of our communities. Our focus is on Education, Health and Income-the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way’s goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlining causes of these problems. We do this by researching, identifying, analyzing and reporting on our communities most pressing issues. We strategically invest in local programs and high-impact initiatives that achieve measurable outcomes and demonstrate results. We unite our efforts with others to achieve positive community change and together-united-we inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow.

Core Values
Community
United Way of 1000 Lakes is the place where people of our community come together in the spirit of teamwork and servant leadership to share our responsibility to care for one another.

Stewardship
As excellent stewards of financial and human resources entrusted to us, United Way of 1000 Lakes ensures that those resources are effectively developed and properly invested to achieve optimum impact in the community.

Integrity
We are an integral part of this community’s leadership; we conduct ourselves with the highest regard for trust, fairness, ethics and respect for one another.

Volunteers
Volunteers are our foundation and most valuable resource. We were founded by volunteers and are a volunteer-directed organization.

Autonomy
We take responsibility for directing and managing this organization and in partnership with our agencies, we meet our community’s critical human service needs.

Diversity
United Way of 1000 Lakes values and is committed to the richness of diversity in all aspects of our organization and those with whom we partner and serve.

Compassion
We are a catalyst for change, creating awareness of needs and celebrating successes in caring for one another and in creating a more compassionate community.

Our History
United Way was formed in 1887 when a Denver priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems. The first campaign raised $21,700 for 22 agencies. 

United Way of 1000 Lakes began in 1963 as the United Fund of Grand Rapids, organized by volunteers to raise money to help more than twenty local charities.

By the 1950s, more than 1,000 communities across the United States and Canada had established United Ways. In 1974, United Ways raised nearly $1.04 billion, marking the first time in history that a single organization raised more than $1 billion in an annual campaign. Over its long history, United Way has helped with everything from the Persian Gulf War to the Olympic torch relay to the President’s Summit for America’s Future. It’s won awards, such as the Charity of Choice from Financial World magazine. Across the country, United Ways now raise more than $4 billion annually.

Today, United Way of 1000 Lakes has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a community convener which mobilizes local partners including businesses, community leaders, public officials and residents, to develop opportunities for people to succeed. Our focus is on three key building blocks, a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family and good health. United Way helps to identify community needs, create solutions and fund local programs that deliver direct health and human services to the people in our community.



Our History
Our History