United Way began serving Hartford in 1924 as the Hartford Community Chest. As the region grew into the suburbs, the organization changed in 1943 to Greater Hartford Community Chest serving Hartford, East Hartford, West Hartford, Bloomfield, Newington, Wethersfield and Windsor. During this time United Funds or Community Chests were formed in Farmington, Simsbury, Vernon (Tri-Town), Manchester, New Britain, Enfield and Windham.
In 1973, following a national movement to use a consistent name, the Greater Hartford Community Chest became the United Way of Greater Hartford. In 1979 the organization became United Way of the Capital Area (UWCA). By this time, other United Way organizations in the 40-town region either merged into the UWCA or entered into affiliate agreements with UWCA for fundraising and administrative efficiencies while maintaining independent corporate status.
In June 2008, the Board of Directors of United Way of the Capital Area officially adopted the new name United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. The name symbolizes a truly United 52-town service region and new governance structure to support it. In 2008, several local independent United Ways previously affiliated with the United Way of the Capital Area began voting to dissolve or began considering dissolution of their independent corporate status to come under one governing body that is better equipped to deal with the increasing demands of accountability and resource distribution. Local regional advisory boards continue to work in the local communities including the Windham region, New Britain-Berlin and Greater Enfield. Each region will do business under a local regional geographic identifier.
We are changing to become a more streamlined organization that can best meet the growing needs of our region. What will not change is our commitment to improving lives and changing conditions in local communities, thanks to committed, engaged and enthusiastic local volunteers.
Today, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut truly represents one United region, with one governing body working together to engage people to create lasting change in local communities.