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History

When the people of Acadiana founded the first local United Way effort in 1949, our communities were small and close-knit. But we know from experience that in smaller communities it is easier for groups to communicate, identify concerns and directly address the issues of the day.

Today, the population of our service area of Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin and Vermilion parishes has grown tremendously from the 168,075 people who called it home in 1949. Each day, United Way of Acadiana works to rise to the growing changes and diverse needs of our growing population by targeting three basic areas: essentials, education and earnings.

Nationally, United Way was founded in 1887 in Denver, Colorado when a diverse group of community leaders – a woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi – came together to improve the condition of their community. Today, their actions have grown into United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest privately-supported nonprofit.

United Way of Acadiana is proud to be one of the nearly 1,800 United Ways in 41 countries and territories.