Tygart Valley United Way is a five-county regional United Way serving Marion, Randolph, Taylor, Barbour, and Tucker counties.
United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.
The Community Chest was founded on August 26, 1938 by Allison Fleming in Fairmont, WV. The first red feather campaign raised $39,980.
The United Fund of Marion County was incorporated on August 26, 1957 with two main goals:
To raise funds and finance in part, or in the entirety, local, state, or national health, welfare, and character building organizations.
To unite, as far as possible, in one annual campaign the fundraising activities of such organizations in Marion County, and to develop uniform financing policies.
The first office was located at 202 Adams Street in the First National Bank building.
Allan W. Babcock served as the first President of the Board of Directors and C.R. Higinbotham served as the first campaign chairman. The first campaign raised just over $74,000.
The first agencies were the Red Cross, the Milk and Shoe Fund, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scouts.
In 1961, the United Fund of Randolph County was formed as a committee of the Elkins Chamber of Commerce. The first meeting took place at Phil's Restaurant located on Davis Ave. Harold McMillen served as the first President and Clay Whetsell served as the first Campaign Chairman. The first drive raised $44,670.
In 1973 and 1976 respectively, the United Funds became the United Way of Marion County and the Randolph County United Way.
The organizations began aligning with United Way America and began providing membership and funding to agencies as "United Way agencies". The organization, which remains the same today, provides funding to non-profit organizations doing meaningful community work in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.
The Fairmont offices moved to the Marion County Chamber of Commerce Building at 112 Adams Street in 2000.
In 2018, the campaign crossed over half-a-million dollars for the first time. In Elkins, the office moved to the West Virginia Wood Tech Center at the beginning of 2019.
In 2019, the Fairmont organization saw a need for services and expanded its reach into neighboring Taylor County and officially became the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties.
Between 2018 and 2020, the organization launched several new community impact initiatives for the first time, including the Born Learning trail, VITA tax preparation, and West Virginia 211 information and referral.
In 2020, both organizations navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic. The work solidified Marion County's place as a local and state leader raising over $120,000 for their special COVID Relief and Recovery fund.
As 2021 arrived, the organizations saw an opportunity to join and serve the region more effectively. The merger of the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties and the Randolph County United Way took place on March 16, 2021. The expansion also added Barbour and Tucker counties into the footprint to become the Tygart Valley United Way, a five-county regional United Way.