The United Way is a world-wide movement that had its beginnings in a small Colorado mining community in the 1800s. For details on this interesting story, please click here.
RCUW was originally incorporated in 1971 as the United Fund of the Upper Ottawa Valley Inc. The organization changed its name to the United Way/Centraide of the Upper Ottawa Valley Inc. (UWUOV) in 1989. The traditional area of operation was centered in the communities of Pembroke and Petawawa. This was due to a strong, active volunteer base and generous community and business support. Consequently, the United Way became a major vehicle for funding charitable agencies in this area.
Support for a federated fund-raising effort under the United Way brand was, however, not as strong in other parts of Renfrew Central and Renfrew South, despite the fact that benefits were still being provided to citizens in those areas by agencies funded by the United Way.
The year 1997 proved to be a watershed. In that year, the organization responded to a request from the Arnprior corporate community to administer donations from their United Way workplace campaigns. As a result, United Way activities began to slowly expand in Renfrew South with the help of a yet-small but active volunteer base. Efforts are now underway to build community support in other areas of Renfrew Central and Renfrew South.
The Deep River District United Way (DRDUW) served the communities of Renfrew North continuously since 1953. During that period, it developed a strong volunteer and donor base to support a number of charitable agencies. In 2008, the DRDUW executive approached the UWUOV executive with a proposal to amalgamate the two organizations. Following a year of study and negotiations, motions to approve amalgamation were presented to and approved by the membership of both organizations at their respective Annual General Meeting (UWUOV on April 23, 2008, and the DRDUW on May 22, 2008).
In preparation for amalgamation, which took effect on January 1, 2009, representatives of the DRDUW executive attended UWUOV board meetings as observers, and participated as full voting members of UWUOV’s Funds Allocation Committee to approve interim funding levels for 2009 to United Way Member Agencies.
To better reflect the region it now was serving, UWUOV requested and received approval from the Province of Ontario in July, 2009, to change its name to Renfrew County United Way. The new name was officially announced at an open house on March 5, 2010, to celebrate the opening of the corporation’s new headquarters.