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About United Way of Olmsted County, Inc.

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United Way of Olmsted County began as the Community Chest of Rochester, which was organized at a joint meeting of the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs at the Arthur Hotel on October 29, 1925. The first campaign raised $26,727. Funds were allocated to the Boy Scouts of America, Gamehaven Council, Civic League Day Nursery, American Red Cross, YWCA, The Salvation Army, Rochester Athletic Association and the Rochester City Band. 

The stated purpose of the Community Chest was "to seek to harmonize the efforts of civic, charitable and philanthropic organizations for the sake of civic unity and greater efficiency."

 In May of 1962 the Community Chest reorganized and changed its name to the United Fund of Greater Rochester. Its first campaign produced  $68,307. Nearly ten years later on February 15, 1972 the membership unanimously adopted the name of United Way of Olmsted County, Inc.

Now past its seventy-fifth year, United Way of Olmsted County has a legacy of prominence and leadership in civic affairs. Currently, over 30 participating and contract agencies are affiliated with this United Way. Beyond these relationships, the United Way provides grants for new programs to meet emerging needs (Venture Grants), as well as grants for collaborative solutions to community-wide issues (Community Solutions Grants).

Beyond fund raising and fund distribution, The United Way of Olmsted County has established a year-round presence in the community. The United Way focuses on complex, community problems that require on-going collaboration and partnerships with local businesses, governments, schools, law enforcement, and health and human service organizations. The challenge for the coming decade and beyond is to develop more systemic solutions to multi-dimensional problems facing our community.

In January 2004, CommunityNet merged with United Way of Olmsted County.


The Volunteer Center (formerly The Volunteer Connection and CommunityNet) has been active in the greater Rochester area since 1982. We support United Way's mission to connect people with meaningful volunteer experiences based on human and social needs of our community. The Volunteer Connection merged with CommunityNet in 1998 and in 2001 became a Points of Light Volunteer Center and are part of the Volunteer Center National Network.



2-1-1 First Call For Help (formerly CommunityNet) became a regional hub of First Call Minnesota in 1996 for five counties. In 2002, CommunityNet added three additional counties and currently support: Dodge, Freeborn, Goodhue, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, and Wabasha counties in Minnesota . As a 2-1-1 SE Minnesota Regional 2-1-1 Hub, our priority is to maintain the integrity of 1,600+ agencies and 3,500+ programs in our database so we can connect people who need assistance to with services these agencies provide.



Medical Social Services and Assisted Living Facilities Project is a partnership between Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center , and area nursing and assisted living facilities. CommunityNet coordinates a daily report to Mayo and Olmsted Medical Center regarding the bed availability at area nursing and assisted living facilities



The United Way of Olmsted County is poised to renew and fulfill its civic responsibilities. As the Federal Government devolves, more leadership will be needed at the local level to seek sensible solutions to complex problems.



Contact United Way of Olmsted County, Inc.

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The Official Site Of United Way of Olmsted County's Volunteer Center
United Way of Olmsted County, Inc. - 903 West Center Street, Suite 100 - Rochester MN 55902
Phone (507) 287-2000 - FAX (507) 287-2063 - E-mail