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History 1955- Present

The United Fund was organized in 1955 with six agencies: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Jr. Auxiliary, Red Cross, Salvation Army and YMCA. The campaign goal was $37,000 and they raised $38,276. Jack Deacon drew up the original United Way Constitution.

In 1972 our name was changed from United Fund to United Way of Jonesboro. Martha Hannah served as Interim Director until Gene Beck was hired as full-time Director.

In 1973 the name was changed to United Way of Greater Jonesboro. The United Way gave Salvation Army and Red Cross $10,000 to help tornado victims.

Beth Walker became Executive Director in 1982. The Loaned Executive Program was started in 1983.

In 1985 the United Way offices moved to 907 Union. In 1986 June Morse was hired as Executive Director. United Way of America was 100 years old in 1987. There was a first class stamp issued for the celebration and United Way Pillars received the first day issue of the stamp.

In 1988 Marilyn Hummelstein served as the first female president of the board.

In 1990 Martha (Hannah) Secrease retired after 21 years of service.

Day of Caring began in 1994.

In 1996 the campaign goal of $721,000 was reached. In 1997 record amount of $784,000 was raised.

March 24, 1998, tragedy struck Westside Middle School and our community. The Westside Crisis Fund Committee was formed.

In 1999 Bonnie May was hired as Executive Director. United Way moved to it’s current location a building provided by the City of Jonesboro located at 407 Union. In 2000 Carol Ann Belk was hired as Executive Director for United Way , $677,176 in pledges was raised. September 11, 2001 marked the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Day of Caring and campaign Kick- Off were scheduled for September 14. A decision was made to proceed with campaign Kick-Off. A total of $707,246 was raised.

In the spring of 2002 Kevin Lawrence was hired as Executive Director. United Way Campaign raised over $740,000 in pledges.

In 2003, Sara Howell created the first Pillar’s art entitled “The One Who Shines Brighter.” The first Gary Schuchardt Memorial 5K Run/Walk was held.

The 2004 Campaign Kick-Off was held September 17, with a goal of $760,000.

In 2005, a new 50th Year logo was unveiled.  The first “Stuff the Bus” was held in Corning and Newport. Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast August 29, United Way volunteers helped coordinate the effort of many organizations to prepare for the arrival of thousands of evacuees.

The 2005 Campaign Kick-Off was held on

September 16 with the goal of raising $704,000. The final total for the Campaign was $711,163. In May, Ruth Baker became the Executive Assistant. We began participating in the “Imagination Library” program administered by the Dollywood Foundation in November.

In January 2006, the United Way of Greater Jonesboro changed its name to United Way of Northeast Arkansas to better reflect our service area, officially defined to include the following counties: Clay, Craighead, Cross, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Poinsett and Randolph.

In February 2007, Governor Mike Beebe announced a new statewide service, “2-1-1”, at a press conference at the state capitol. September Community leaders of Jackson County turned out for the UWNEA Jackson County Campaign Kick-Off.

2008 we said “Good-bye” to Kevin Lawrence who accepted a position with City Water and Light and welcomed Wendy Kirk as our new Executive Director. The first Randolph County Day of Caring was held in May.  Melanie Polsgrove left United Way of NEA, Paula Robertson joined us as our new Community Impact Coordinator.

February 2009 Wendy Kirk takes a position with United Way of Madison County in Huntsville Alabama. We were fortunate to have Carole Damron accept the Executive Director position in early February after becoming heavily involved with United Way upon her retirement from the Girl Scouts.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Carol Damron chooses to leave her position as Executive Director and in August 2010 long time staff member, Nanette Heard, serves as Interim Director.

December 2010, Ruth Baker moves into the Accounting position, Nanette Heard becomes Executive Director and Megan Scribner joins the staff as Executive Assistant.

An anonymous donor made five $2,000 scholarships available as campaign incentives for 2011, 2012, and 2013.

2013 Megan Scribner takes new position, Paula Robertson moves to the Exec. Assistant position, Jenny Keller is hired as the Business Development Director.

2014 Inaugural Live United event raises $7328.87, Student United Way begins at Arkansas State University.

2015 Happy 60th Birthday United Way of Northeast Arkansas!  In it’s 6th year, VITA program expands appointment days and nearly triples the number of clients served.