In 1887, a Roman Catholic priest, two Protestant ministers, a Rabbi, and a woman volunteer formed the Charity Organization of Denver, becoming first in the nation to raise funds in a joint campaign, thereby preventing duplication of services and developing cooperation among 23 participating agencies. This first campaign raised $21,700 of which all but $61 was collected. Several of the original agencies still serve the Denver area.
In 1917, the War Chest movement spread over the nation to nearly 400 communities and raised more than one million dollars. Rochester, New York coined the name "Community Chest" in 1919.
Federated fundraising progressed through 1928, then underwent serious difficulty during the Depression years and the reconstruction years when the Federal government assistance grew, and volunteer giving declined. World War II revived the voluntary fund-raising movement and by 1974 nearly $167 million was contributed in communities across the nation through united campaigns.
In 1961, Geary County opened what is now the United Way of Junction City/Geary County. Originally named the United Fund of Junction City-Geary County, the office was located at 112 W. 6th Street. 28 individuals came together to fulfill the need of those in Geary County; Kenneth H. Johnson, R.J. Fegan, U.S. Weary, E. Carl Ware, Dan B. Loeb, Lee Rick, S.T. Schicktanz, E.D. Jackson, Mary K. Montgomery, Irene Rogers, Warren Adams, Mrs. Wm. Morganfield, Laurence J. Hoover, G.W. Hargreaves, Howard L. Goad, Don E. Coates, E.W. Rolfs, W.S. Kennedy, Robert Deam, K.F. Sanborn, Ed Kessinger, Alvin Schubert, R.L. Thiessen, Dan E. Hiett, R.L. Weir Jr., Harold Deever, Dan S. Spencer, R.A. Schermerhorn.
Since the opening of the United Fund of Junction City-Geary County, the board members have continued to reach out to the community, raising funds, awareness, and support around the issues that matter most to Geary County, the health, welfare, education, and safety of those within the community. To date, United Way of Junction City/Geary County has raised over $3,063,000 for the community.
In 1961, twenty-eight individuals came together to provide a brighter future for Geary County, will you help continue their dream?