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The History of Community Chest of Terre Haute Inc.

The history of federated fundraising dates back to the 1880's. At that time the Society for Organized Charity was founded in Terre Haute on April 10, 1882. That organization was pledged " to the proper relief of cases of destitution, the prevention of indiscriminate and duplicate giving, the reduction of vagrancy and pauperism." They wanted also to determine the true cause of vagrancy and pauperism and "to make employment the basis for relief and to secure the community against imposture."

The Society for Organized Charity was the first federated fundraising body in the Terre Haute area. In 1919, the Welfare League was formed. It and its successor, the Terre Haute Community Fund, conducted the community wide fundraising campaign from 1920 to 1932. From 1936 to 1941, the Health-Welfare Fund was the fundraising organization.

In 1942, the Community Chest of Terre Haute Inc., was organized to coordinate the activities of the various agencies providing welfare, health or recreational services to the public.

In 1957, the United Appeal formed as the fundraising arm of Community Chest. Two years later, the United Appeal organized as the United Fund of Terre Haute and Vigo County Inc. and assumed the administrative powers of Community Chest. The United Fund became the United Way of the Wabash Valley in 1972. Following that reorganization, Community Chest handled only legacies and trusts. For the next 20 years, Community Chest provided small grants to Vigo County nonprofit organizations for capital purchases.

In 1992, the Community Chest board was instrumental in the organization and start up of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation Inc. (Community Foundation). The Community Chest transferred its assets to the Community Foundation as part of the Lilly Endowment Inc. Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. Since that time, the staff of the Community Foundation have overseen and maintained the records, finances and activities of Community Chest of Terre Haute.

In 2001, Community Chest expanded the area it is able to serve and became a supporting organization of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation Inc. As such, Community Chest has been positioned to develop and implement broad based programs benefiting the Wabash Valley.