History of United Way of Hopewell-Prince George
United Way of Hopewell-Prince George originated from the development of the Hopewell Community Chest in 1944, which combined the War Fund and Community Chest. In 1962 the name changed to United Fund, then in 1989 to United Way of Hopewell. In 2003, Prince George County became part of United Way of Hopewell’s service area, thus the change in the name in 2004 to United Way of Hopewell-Prince George.
Some of our local United Way’s participating agencies today have a long history of being supported by the annual fund drive. The Boy Scouts was one of the four original agencies that would receive funds from the 1944 campaign. The Salvation Army began receiving funds in the early 1950’s. Other long time agencies include Hopewell Food Pantry, Progressive Adult Rehabilitation Center, Pregnancy Support Center-Tri-Cities, Central Virginia Legal Aid, RIF, Hopewell Humane Society and CARES. More recent organizations are The James House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, USO, Smart Beginnings, Enhancing Education and STORY. We hope that other agencies will also join us in establishing a strong foundation for building a strong community. These organizations still rely on United Way support to provide services to the community.
As for some contributor history, Hercules (now Ashland), Tubize, Hummell Ross and Solvay employees made up the first contributors of the Industrial Division of the Community Chest Campaign back in the 1940’s. Along with Hopewell City and School Employees, and a few generous residents, they managed to raise a total of $11,000 for the 1944 campaign. Employees of Dupont and Continental Can (now WestRock) began to contribute to the fund in 1949. Honeywell’s history began with United Way as Allied Chemical in the 1950’s. Honeywell employee contributions were a substantial part of the campaign total until a corporate decision in 2008 to donate only to Honeywell’s philanthropic charities took them out of the campaign.
In recent years the campaign has struggled to meet the goals. With the generosity of our community we still hope to provide the support to 15 participating agencies and numerous other worthwhile organizations whose services are vital to our community. One contribution to United Way of Hopewell-Prince George can touch the lives of so many people, and has been doing so for 75 years, because our community is “Living United” to care for one another.