The mission of the United Way of the Ozarks is to increase understanding of human needs and to mobilize resources to meet these needs.
We care for one another through:
- Providing leadership to identify and solve community problems
- Developing and allocation resources to meet community human service needs.
- Providing assistance to strengthen the health and human service delivery system.
- Enhancing communications to foster meaningful involvement with donors and volunteers.
United Way of the Ozarks enjoys a rich heritage that can trace its origins to 1930, when a special committee of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce "perfected a plan for a Community Chest." On October 13, 1930, a new corporation, the Springfield Community Chest, Inc., elected a board of directors consisting of 28 members.
The first board chairman was J. M. Quinn. The first campaign was lead by Rev. W. H. Mansfield to benefit 17 organizations. Its purpose was to minimize "the impact of conflicting charitable requests upon Springfield."
By 1952, the campaign was known as the Community Chest - Red Cross Campaign. Later campaigns were known as the United Appeal and the United Fund.
In 1962, a permanent organization, "United Fund", was formed with a newly elected board of directors representing both donors and member agencies.
The change to "United Way of the Ozarks" in 1979 reflected the regional emphasis and responsibilities of the organization.
In 1994, a unique partnership was formed between Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of the Ozarks. The board of directors of both organizations agreed to support a combined capital campaign which would provide the first building owned by United Way and enable the Chamber of Commerce to build a new building.
The campaign was a success and a new structure, named the "John Q. Hammons Enterprise Center", was built for the Chamber of Commerce. The previous Chamber building was titled to United Way debt free, including furniture and fixtures.
On June 12, 1996, the building at 320 North Jefferson Avenue was dedicated as the "Clarence R. Wheeler Center" in appreciation to the principal donor and committed to the mission and work of providing a better quality of life for this and future generations in the Ozarks.
By 1996, United Way of the Ozarks had more than 400 campaign volunteers and 27 member agencies serving 23 counties in southwest Missouri.
The 2008 campaign raised $3,443,698 for member agencies. 98% of the total goal was raised while facing a very unsettled economic climate during the fall campaign.
March 2009 - BKD's Southern Missouri Foundation announces at the March 3 annual meeting that they are gifting to the 23 United Way partner agencies, $105,000 to bring agency allocation funding to the original 2008 level.
Vice President - Resource Development & Marketing
Sr. Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
Coordinator of Community Investment
Tri Lakes United Way Coordinator
Resource Development Specialist
AFL-CIO Community Service Liaison
Director of Administration
Accounts Payable Financial Assistant
Director of Resource Development
Board of Directors
Springfield First Community Bank
Associate Campaign Chair
Springfield Police Chief
O'Reilly Auto Parts
Community Investment Chair
City of Springfield
Immediate Past Chairman
Greene County Sheriff
Associate Greene County Commissioner
Teamsters Local 245
SRC Holdings Corp.
The Bank of Missouri
Dr. Nancy O’Reilly
O’Reilly Health & Wellness Consultation Svcs.
Dr. Norm Ridder
Springfield Public Schools
Missouri State University