Our History

1967 - United Way of Monmouth County (UWMC) was incorporated by a group of business, labor and community leaders with two goals in mind: to raise funds for local agencies through a single campaign conducted in the workplace, and to distribute those funds in a thoughtful manner. That year, $128,000 was raised for 27 agencies.

1969 - United Way of Ocean County (UWOC) forms as an offshoot of Monmouth County United Charities when Ed Moran spearheaded the movement to raise funds for Ocean County residents in need.

1976 - United Charities incorporated into the United Way of Ocean County.

1977 - UWMC joined the United Way of Tri-State, a regional mechanism raising funds among the metropolitan regions 100 largest companies. Local staff and volunteers coordinate those campaigns, and the funds raised come back to the county through employee designations and through a regional distribution formula.

1978 - Monmouth County Community Services Council asked UWMC to take on its role of coordinating agency programs and providing information and referral services to the people of Monmouth County through the "First Call for Help" information and referral service.  This produced the Human Services Directory for Monmouth County, the Where to Turn series and roundtable discussions on food and utility issues.

1997 - A strategic planning process was completed, which resulted in significant changes in the approach to campaign, fund distribution, internal management and marketing. A community-wide needs assessment was conducted in collaboration with the Monmouth County Department of Human Services, as well as several local foundations and funding sources.

2000 - New system of distributing funds is fully implemented, allowing any 501(c)(3) agency providing health and human services to the people of Monmouth County to apply for funds.

2002 - UWMC, in collaboration with the Monmouth County Department of Human Services and Monmouth County September 11th Task Force, established the Monmouth County September 11th Resource Center at Brookdale Community College to assist all those impacted by the terrorist attacks.

2005 - UWMC, along with United Ways across New Jersey, announced the launch of 2-1-1, a comprehensive, 24 hour a day, 7 day a week information and referral service. The fund distribution system is restructured into the Resource Investment process, and a new agency Certification process is established.

2006 - As part of the UWA membership requirements, the UWMC Board, staff and nonprofit partners completed a self assessment survey designed to evaluate how UWMC ranked according to the UWA Standards of Excellence. The Standards of Excellence describe the benchmarks for a United Way being considered a Community Impact United Way.

2007 - The Community Impact Ad Hoc planning committee is formally appointed to recommend to the UWMC Board of Directors a plan detailing how UWMC should change in order to increase its achievement of the UWA’s Standards of Excellence.

2008 - The Community Impact Ad Hoc Planning committee presented its report, which was accepted by the Board. The report recommendations included the adoption of the impact areas of Education, Income and Health, and to continue to support A) basic needs & crisis services, B) prevention & education services, and to add C) services that promote lasting changes in community conditions. To implement these changes, standing subcommittees were established in each of the three impact areas of Education, Income and Health. Volunteers were recruited for each impact subcommittee, including issue experts who are utilizing data from our 2008 Monmouth County Social and Demographic Report and a variety of other sources, to make recommendations to the Board on the community conditions that will be the focus of our funding processes starting in 2010.

2010 - UWMC began a new era on October 1, 2010 with the start of the new Community Impact funding cycle. Over the next few years, United Way will invest $500,000 per year in fifteen initiatives that will create measurable and lasting change in the areas of Education, Income and Health. These initiatives were presented and approved for funding by the United Way Board of Directors, and represent over two years of work by twenty-five dedicated community volunteers on our Education, Income and Health Impact subcommittees.

2012 - On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy hits New Jersey, one of the most devastating storms to hit the area with over 346,000 homes in NJ damaged or destroyed and over $36 billion in damages. Both Monmouth and Ocean counties were heavily impacted, and from day one, UWMC and UWOC were there mobilizing volunteers and resources. UWMC provided generators to local nonprofits without power and set up a warehouse in conjuction with the State of New Jersey.

2013 - UWMC forms the Rebuild New Jersey program with UWOC and United Way of Northern NJ, and receives grants to begin rebuilding Monmouth and Ocean Counties from the following organizations: NJ Department of State AmeriCorps program, Points of Light Institute, United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund, Meridian Health Foundation, New Jersey Resources, Robin Hood Foundation, and Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. AmeriCorps members, under the supervision of a Construction Manager, assist volunteer groups in construction work to repair damaged homes in the area. Over the course of 3 years, United Way's Rebuild New Jersey program helped 252 families, and over 6,900 volunteers saved homeowners in Monmouth and Ocean counties over $2 million in labor and materials. UWMC also helped form the Monmouth County Long Term Recovery Group (MCLTRG) and served as the fiscal agent for the group. MCLTRG assisted 261 families directly with any unmet needs, and referred 2,200 people in need to helpful resources.

2014 - United Way of Monmouth County's Women's Leadership Council is formed by a group of passionate and dedicated women focused on making sure children in our community receive a quality education that prepares them for higher learning or employment.

2015 - UWMC opens the Financial Success Center in the Freehold Raceway Mall in March 2015 to provide comprehensive resources under one roof to help residents move from financial difficulty to economic well-being. Based at the Meridian Community Resource Center, the FSC is a seamless collaboration among United Way, Navicore Solutions, Monmouth County Workforce Investment Board, Child Care Resources of Monmouth County, and The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

2016 - UWMC and UWOC merge to form United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (UWMOC) on July 1, 2016. UWMOC jointly serves the residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties by partnering with local organizations to build initiatives that address common goals in the areas of education, income and health. The Women's Leadership Council is re-branded as Women United and also serves both Monmouth and Ocean counties.

2017 - UWMOC undergoes a strategic planning process that cultivates a new mission, vision and strategic goals for the organization. UWMOC adopts the new focus areas of school readiness, early grade reading, youth career pathways and financial stability for its community impact work to improve the lives of youth and their families. The organization also receives a $1 Million Challenge from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation to raise an additional $1 million by 2021 by matching all new or increased gifts.

2019 - The Financial Success Center Network expands from one location in the Freehold Raceway Mall to ten locations throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. Free services are now offered in Bayville, Eatontown, Freehold, Keansburg, Long Beach Island, Manahawkin, Neptune, Red Bank, South Toms River and Toms River. The FSC Network is a partnership of nine organizations: Affordable Housing Alliance, Child Care Resources of Monmouth County, Fulfill, Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHAMC), Monmouth County Workforce Development Board, Navicore Solutions, Social Community Activities Network (SCAN), St. Francis Community Center (LBICC) and UWMOC.

UWMOC combines the Monmouth and Ocean County offices to one location serving both counties. The new office is located at 4814 Outlook Drive, Suite 107 in Wall Township, NJ 07753.

2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic hit the US in March 2020 and the country went into a lockdown. In April, UWMOC organized a COVID-19 Recovery Fund to address the unmet needs of people and organizations economically impacted by the crisis. Thanks to generous donations from individuals, corporations and virtual fundraisers, United Way raised and distributed $70,000 to our partner organizations to aid in our community’s recovery. The first $20,000 in donations to the UWMOC COVID-19 Recovery Fund were graciously matched dollar for dollar by the Grunin Foundation and New Jersey Natural Gas. These funds enabled some organizations to safely reopen according to the new protocols, and also helped individuals who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 with their basic needs.