Why we’re committed
Did you know?
- By 3rd grade, a child’s grades and absenteeism rates can foreshadow—with 80% accuracy—whether they will graduate high school.
- 44% of Essex County families are living at the poverty level. Of those, 28% are employed and 16% of these families are living in extreme poverty.
- Essex County ranks in the lowest 5% of New Jersey for all health related issues.
The numbers don’t lie, and this is a truth we will not accept.
Disrupt the cycle of poverty by convening, collaborating and investing in strategies to improve outcomes for children and families.
United Way of Essex and West Hudson exists to improve the lives of individuals, children and families within our footprint to strengthen the collective community. Through programs and service initiatives we address the root causes of community concerns with an emphasis on:
A brief history
The Newark Female Charity Society was organized to help the poor and distressed in Newark
Four Denver clergy came together to help the community which sparked the “United Way” national movement
The Welfare Federation of the Oranges opened its doors in Orange, NJ. This was the forerunner of the Community Service of the Oranges and Maplewood.
The Welfare Federation of Newark was formed to support 50 partner agencies. It marked the beginning of the United fundraising campaigns raising $782,719. It later changed its name to The Newark Welfare Federation.
In response to multiple agencies soliciting workplace support after WWII the first official “United” fundraising drive was launched to support 69 partner organizations.
The Newark Welfare Federation merged with the Community Service of the Oranges and Maplewood to form The United Community Fund and Council of Essex and West Hudson (UCFC).
The UCFC officially changed its name to The United Way of Essex and West Hudson (UWEWH) the name it still holds today. That year it raised over $4.3MM to support 63 agencies.
UWEWH assumed a key community leadership role in its initiative Partnership Against Illiteracy beginning one of their prime focuses of improving literacy in the community.
Maria Vizcarrondo-DeSoto was hired as the first President/CEO of UWEWH. Her passion and approach to community programs is the foundation for much of the modern day organization.
UWEWH embarked on a new strategic plan to fulfill their mission and impact the community through direct program efforts as well as partnerships in the community.