About Us


Our Mission

United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.

Our Goals

In 2008, United Way World Wide initiated a 10-year program designed to achieve the following goals by 2018:

  • Improve education, and cut the number of high school dropouts — 1.2 million students, every year — in half.
  • Help people achieve financial stability, and get 1.9 million working families — half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable — on the road to economic independence.
  • Promote healthy lives, and increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.

These goals are ambitious, but with your help, and by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve them.


1955  The United Fund organized. Campaign goal $37,000, raised $38,276. Jack Deacon drew up orginal Constitution 
1972  Name changed to United Way of Jonesboro. Martha Hannah served as Interim Director. Gene Beck was hired
           as full-time Director.
1973  Name changed to United Way of Greater Jonesboro. $10,000 set aside to help tornado victims. 
1982  Beth Walker became Executive Director 
1983  The Loaned Executive Program began
1985  Offices moved to 907 Union
1986  June Morse hired as Executive Director. 
1987  United Way of America was 100th Anniversary. First class stamp issued, Pillars received the first day issue. 
1988  Marilyn Hummelstein served as the first female president.
1990  Martha (Hannah) Secrease retires after 21 years of service.
1994  Day of Caring began.
1996  Campaign goal of $721,000 was reached.
1997  Record amount of $784,000 raised.
1998  Shootings at Westside Middle School. Westside Crisis Fund Committee was formed.
1999  Bonnie May hired as Executive Director. United Way moved to City building 407 Union.
2000  Carol Ann Belk hired as Executive Director. $677,176 was raised.
2001  September 11, terrorist attacks at World Trade Center. Day of Caring/Campaign Kick- Off were scheduled for
          September 14. A decision was made to proceed with campaign; Kick- Off, raised $707,246.
  2002  Kevin Lawrence was hired as Executive Director. United Way Campaign  raised over $740,000.
  2003  Sara Howell created the first Pillar’s art. The first Gary Schuchardt Memorial  5K Run/Walk held.
  2004  Campaign Kick-Off set $760,000 goal. Nanette Heard joined the staff as Bookkeeper.
  2005  Happy 50th Anniversary United Way of NEA! New logo was unveiled. The first “Stuff the Bus”
           held in Corning and Newport. Organized volunteers to serve  Katrina evacuees. Campaign
            Kick-Off goal was $704,000, raised $711,163. Ruth Baker became Executive Assistant.
            Imagination Library program begins.
2006  Name changed to United Way of Northeast Arkansas 
2007  Governor Mike Beebe announced the proposition of statewide 2-1-1 
2008  Kevin Lawrence accepted position with City Water and Light. Wendy Kirk hired as Executive Director.
          First Randolph County Day of Caring. Paula Robertson joined as Community Impact Coordinator with
          departure of Melanie Polsgrove
2009  Started VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program 
2010  Wendy Kirk moved to United Way of Madison County/Huntsville. Director Carol Damron leaves. Nanette Heard
           becomes Executive Director. Ruth Baker becomes Accountant. Megan Scribner joined staff as Executive Assistant.
2011  An anonymous donor committed to give $10,000 per year for 3 years to fund “Education Matters” scholarships.
2012  The 19th annual Day of Caring puts 500 volunteers to work at a value of $78,925 in “man hours” 
2013  Megan Scriber resigned for new position. Paula Robertson moved to the
          Executive Assistant Position. Jenny Keller is hired as the Resource
          Development Director.
2014  Inagural Live United raised $7,328.97. Student United Way began at Arkansas
          State University
2015  Happy 60th Birthday United Way of Northeast Arkansas! In its 6th year, VITA
          program expanded appointment days and nearly triples the number of clients
          served. Most volunteers ever on Day of Caring.
2016 Jenny Keller left to take a new position. Shaila Creekmore joined staff as Director of Business Development.
         Tiffany Gipson joined staff as Director of Community Impact.
  2017 4th annual Live United with the Stars set record for proceeds. Paula Robertson begins semi-retirement.
  2018 4th annual Batting for a Better Tomorrow Softball Tournament set records for proceeds.
            25th Annual Day of Caring- First Innagural Terry Williams Service Award given out.

  2019 Tiffany Gipson left to take a new position. Erin Calhoon joined staff as Director of Programs and Events.

  2020 Courtney Swindle joined staff as part-time Executive Assistant. The Jonesboro Tornado Recovery Fund & COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund are formed to provide assistance following the world-wide pandemic and EF3 Tornado.

  2021 Shaila Creekmore left for a new position and Erin Calhoon transitioned to Director of Business Development. Brittany Oliver joined staff as Accountant and VITA Coordinator.