We are proud to celebrate 100 years in Kent County and honored to have strong partnerships with so many people, businesses, and organizations who care about our community and are passionate about making it a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Over the course of the next year, we will honor and thank the leaders of the past and present, and we will look forward with optimism to the work ahead of us in the next 100 years!


At the turn of the 20th century, amidst appeals for winter aid, the rampant spread of contagious diseases, the Great Depression, and community-wide food shortages, the members of our community felt moved to organize their philanthropic efforts to increase effectiveness, decrease duplication of services, and make it easier for people to donate to local causes. Out of that effort, on January 19, 1917, The Federated Charities – a predecessor of Heart of West Michigan United Way – was opened on the third floor of the Association of Commerce Building at 5 Lyon NW in downtown Grand Rapids. 

Since that day, we have raised and invested $500,000,000 into Kent County, bolstering the civic, neighborhood, and faith-based organizations that are so vital to our social well-being and expanding economic opportunity by creating more sustainable, resilient communities.

Thank you to 100th Anniversary sponsors:


Rich and Helen DeVos & Family
100th Anniversary Honorary Campaign Chairs


Photo Gallery

Celebrate with us!

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Don't forget to tag @HWMUW!