The Longview Community Chest was first organized in 1937. In 1943 the scope of the Chest was expanded and the Articles of Incorporation were amended to Unite the Longview and Kelso areas into one Chest. The name of the Chest was then changed to the Longview-Kelso Community Chest. In 1954 the Chest had 18 partner agencies.
In 1959 Longview-Kelso Community Chest became the Cowlitz County United Fund. The goal of that campaign that year was $100,000 to be allocated to 12 charitable organizations. The effort raised $107,069, surpassing its goal by 7%. In ten year’s time, the Cowlitz County United Fund grew by 100%.
Further success and growth were marked in 1981 when under the leadership of Margaret Spence, the local campaign raised $500,000. Support was given to 16 local charitable organizations.
The Cowlitz County United Fund became United Way of Cowlitz County in 1989 with Kay Green at its helm. The organization supported 22 local organizations, and in the coming ten years, would raise over $900,000 a year.
In 1996 Bob Johnson followed Kay Green as the agency’s Director. With that change, the United Way moved to a new “Outcome” based funding system. In 1998 and 1999 the organization raised over $1,000,000 each year.
Today, Brooke Fisher-Clark is the Executive Director for the now named United Way of Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties supporting 25 partner agencies and programs. After a Strategic Planning Meeting, the United Way Board has taken steps forward into an impact focus of education. We are now the affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to make an impact on early education, stay tuned for more ways we will be impacting local education! United Way still supports efforts in all three of our silos; health, education and financial stability.