Press Releases: February 25, 2016

United Way of Greater Houston and Montgomery County United Way Agree to Merge

(HOUSTON --- Thurs., Feb. 25, 2016) The Montgomery County United Way and United Way of Greater Houston will merge to create one regional United Way, beginning on March 1, 2016. The merger, supported by the organizations' respective boards of trustees, was approved by donors of each United Way at separate meetings held in Montgomery County on Wednesday and in Houston today. 

Leaders from both United Ways cite several reasons for the merger. Chief among them is the ability to serve more people more efficiently by making greater use of the strengths and resources of each organization. Recognizing the region's dynamic growth, the merger also creates greater convenience for donors, many of whom live in one county and work in another, and are looking for a seamless way to support the quality of life throughout the area. 

"We are extremely proud of the long, successful 60-year legacy of the Montgomery County United Way and we believe this change will enable us to serve even more people in the county," said Christi Thoms-Knox, chair of the Montgomery County United Way board of trustees. "We are very grateful to our volunteers, donors and staff for the valuable time they spent carefully studying this merger and working diligently through the process." 

After a transition period, the new regional organization will be called United Way of Greater Houston. The headquarters will be located in Houston and will maintain a strong local presence in Montgomery County with the United Way Center in Montgomery County serving as a regional hub for community impact work, fundraising and the Day of Caring volunteer program. The center will continue to house some agency partners and serve as a home for community and agency collaboration. As part of the merger, a Montgomery County Regional Council formed of volunteer leaders will be responsible to assess local needs and make funding recommendations for services in Montgomery County. All current Montgomery County United Way board members have been invited to serve on the regional council. Additionally, four current Montgomery County United Way board members will join the United Way of Greater Houston board of trustees. 

"This is the strategic blending of two very strong, accomplished United Way organizations for the good of the community," said Marc Watts, chair of the United Way of Greater Houston board of trustees. "We know that, working together, we can create a stronger future by doing more good for more people and continuing to grow the donor and community support that will enable United Way to improve lives throughout the region." 
According to the leadership of both organizations, the staff will all be retained as part of the merger. 

Both leaders said another benefit of combining the organizations will be the opportunity to introduce successful service initiatives from each United Way to other areas of the region where they are needed. Examples include Montgomery County United Way's Healthy Living Alliance, which combats obesity and promotes a healthier lifestyle; United Way of Greater Houston's Bright Beginnings early education program; United Way THRIVE, which fosters family financial stability; and 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE telephone assistance services. 

In addition to Montgomery County, the new regional United Way of Greater Houston serves the Bay Area and Fort Bend, Harris and Waller counties. Last year, the combined revenue of United Way of Greater Houston and the Montgomery County United Way was $85 million. Both organizations share a strong commitment to being a trusted partner in improving lives, tackling key community social issues and making a lasting difference. 
For more information on the services and community impact of United Way, visit unitedwayhouston.org. 

About United Way of Greater Houston 
For more than 90 years, United Way of Greater Houston has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives, tackling key community social issues and making a lasting difference. Last year, United Way of Greater Houston touched the lives of more than 2.4 million of our neighbors in the Bay Area and in Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. United Way focuses on strengthening our community by developing children and youth to their full potential, creating strong families and safe neighborhoods, sustaining senior independence and rebuilding people's lives in times of crisis. United Way of Greater Houston is the best way to make the biggest difference in our community, changing Houston for good. For more information, please visit, http://www.unitedwayhouston.org. ;