1958: Community Chest
The idea to have one local fund drive that benefited many local non-profit agencies goes back to 1958 and Dixon’s first Community Chest. Throughout the country, communities generally adopted either “Community Chest” or “United Fund” as the name of their local fund drive.
For that first campaign, Dixon adopted the Community Chest’s national slogan: “Everybody Benefits – Everybody Gives.” The community-wide effort sought to reduce the many individual fund-raising efforts by local non-profits, consolidating their efforts into one local drive that helped them all.
Eight Dixon organizations received funding from that October 1958 drive: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Goodfellows, Jaycees Baseball (later known as Al Morrison Baseball), Dixon Youth Center (later known as the Dixon YMCA), and Truman School (later known as Kreider Services).
1965: Dixon United Fund
In 1965, the Dixon Community Chest changed its identity to the Dixon United Fund, joining the growing United Fund movement around the United States. By 1968, the organization’s 10-year anniversary, the number of Dixon United Fund agencies had grown to 14.
1983: Dixon Area United Way
In 1983, the organization officially changed its name to the Dixon Area United Way. This new name reflected the expanded reach of the organization to the “Dixon Area,” and joined the nation’s growing number of “United Funds” that had changed to “United Ways.” The 1983 organization supported 19 agencies.
2000: United Way of Lee County
In 2000, the Dixon Area United Way officially became the United Way of Lee County. The move reflected the expanded areas that were benefiting from United Way dollars. The new name also helped pave the way for expanded fund-raising efforts in more Lee County communities.