Lubbock Area United Way celebrates 75 years of giving hope
By Chelsea Collinsworth
For the past 75 years, the Lubbock Area United Way has given hope across the South Plains. The non-profit celebrates its milestone after taking a hit from the pandemic.
It started at the ‘Community Chest’ in 1946.
“You know our mission is very simple: it’s giving people hope. And that’s what we’ve been doing for 75 years and that’s we plan to continue doing this year,” Vice President of Marketing and Communications Amanda McAfee said.
Since it’s grown from only four community partners to 23.
“It’s really the idea of people coming together, united to walk down a path together. To go together in accomplishing things for the community,” McAfee said.
Its mission focuses on education, eliminating child abuse and sex trafficking, and providing mental health services in our area.
McAfee said the non-profit wouldn’t be what it is today without donor’s support.
“United Ways does not exist without the community,” she said.
Without donations, she said the organization wouldn’t have the means or availability to continue tackling those root issues.
“Non-profits rely on the support of donations and gifts that people give in order to do their work,” she explained.
2020 brought challenges, and just like a lot of agencies, everything went virtual.
“We were a little less hands-on in that we couldn’t actually go and visit our community partners and work directly with clients or children,” she said, “but the community still really rallied around us in an amazing way and continue to help and support us.”
The United Way plans to roll out celebration events throughout the year. McAfee believes it's about building a better Lubbock.
“And that is what the United Way has been about for 75 years and it’s what we’re going to continue to be about,” she said.
In 2019 the organization served 110,000 people in our area. More than 700 volunteers work with the non-profit annually.