About Us

Why United Way

In communities across the Ozarks, the lives of thousands of children, adults, and families are made better thanks to the services of United Way and our partner agencies. Your contribution to United Way of the Ozarks gives people hope for a better life. YOU help people learn to read, feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, protect families and children from violence, restore hope after a disaster or illness, and renew faith for a brighter tomorrow.


The mission of United Way of the Ozarks is to improve lives in the Ozarks by uniting community support. We incorporate our values of accountability, collaboration, compassion, leadership, integrity, and impact into every aspect of our work.

United Way of the Ozarks is committed to ensuring children are fully prepared to succeed in school and life and that adults are able to support themselves and their families.

We invest in programs that form a SAFETY NET for families experiencing challenges, and focus on EDUCATION to get upstream on reducing poverty. We connect communities, people, and hope.

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.