About Us

Why United Way

In the 14 counties across the Ozarks, the lives of thousands of children, adults and families each year are made better thanks to the services of United Way and our nonprofit partners.

Your contribution to United Way of the Ozarks makes it happen. YOU give people hope when you: 

  • Feed the hungry.
  • Help others learn to read.
  • Give shelter to the homeless.
  • Protect families and children from violence.
  • Renew faith for a brighter tomorrow. 


The United Way of the Ozarks improves lives by raising funds and uniting support around our communities' critical needs and red flags.


United Way of the Ozarks is our community’s unifying force.

We are focused on the big picture. We look at our communities’ challenges, resources and unmet needs. And, through our large collaborative network, we are able to help people whose needs can’t be met by a single organization.

We support a variety of local nonprofits to help fill in funding gaps. And, we offer ways to engage in the community to make it a better place for all.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

United Way of the Ozarks values the visible and invisible qualities that make you who you are. We recognize those qualities that make us different. We also recognize the quality we all share: Our humanity.

We unequivocally denounce discrimination of any kind because it undermines the well-being and vitality of our community. We believe that each United Way community member, donor, volunteer, advocate, and employee must have equal access to solving community problems.  

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United Way of the Ozarks History

The Community Chest was designed to eliminate duplication of effort for Springfield charitable organizations. J. M. Quinn was elected the first board chairman of the Community Chest. Seventeen local organizations found support through the Community Chest, including, the Salvation Army, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the Red Cross.