Our History

What we now recognize as United Way began in 1887 when a woman, a priest, a rabbi and two ministers created an organization in Denver to collect funds for local charities. The first year $21,700 was raised for 10 health and welfare organizations. And that was just the beginning …

In 1928, United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States began its work as the Dubuque Community Chest. Citizens and civic organizations joined together under the principle that “Individualism is a traditional characteristic of the American people, but so is the spirit of teamwork pulling together for good causes.”

At the time the Dubuque Community Chest was organized, there were only 350 Community Chests in the United States. Today, there are more than 1,800 United Ways worldwide, and United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States has gone from raising $65,000 annually to raising more than $1.8 million annually.

Today, United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States is still committed to the ideals of diversity and inclusion. We support health and human service programs that address identified community needs and encourage collaboration. These initiatives align with our three pillars of health, education and financial stability – the building blocks of a good quality of life.