Who We Are

The United Way Movement

The first organization that evolved into United Way began in Denver in 1887. Leaders from the religious community along with volunteer citizens came together to respond to growing and more complex human needs. No longer could family members or neighbors alone informally deal with the growing health, housing, juvenile delinquency, mental health, and other needs that faced them. The response would have to be organized and collective.

An economic revolution had created unprecedented human need and required a revolutionary response which created United Way’s greatest value – Our ability to bring together individuals and institutions to respond to human need and potential – and it has lasted for 120 years!. It is what makes United Way relevant and unique.

Community Chests (and other forerunners of United Way) brought public officials, business leaders, religious leaders, organized labor, human service agencies and others together to identify and respond to the most pressing issues of the day. In the early to mid-1920’s human service agencies began raising money together through Community Chests to address issues. They raised more money at lower costs than previous less organized fund-raisers. In the 1950’s payroll deduction for workplace giving was created and the amount of money raised sky rocketed.

In 1970 local Community Chests, United Planning Councils, United Funds, Torch Drives, Crusades of Mercy, and others came together under one name and became, United Way. Today United Way is comprised of 1,400 locally independent organizations in the United States and 3,000 affiliated organizations in 44 countries around the world. There are 16 million donors in the U.S. investing almost $4 billion annually.

United Way of Merced County

July 23, 1954 Merced United Givers, Inc. was incorporated and thus was the birth of United Way in Merced County. In 1961 the name was changed to Merced County United Fund, Inc. In 1974 it was changed to Merced Area United Way and in 1997 it became United Way of Merced County.

In the early days the organization represented the various charities for which it was raising funds. Through the years, the emphasis changed agency desires to donor desires. Additionally the funding shifted from supporting agencies to supporting selected programs of agencies.

An all volunteer committee of community representation review the applications of non-profit human care service agencies who are requesting funding for one of their programs. Then the agencies make a verbal presentation followed by questions from the committee. The committee then makes a funding recommendation to the Board of Directors for approval.



Enrique Guzman
UC Merced


Bob Harmon
Harmon Insurance Services, Inc.

Vice President

Currently Vacant 


Sonia Alshami
Lino & Sons Trucking

Sandy Lemas

Stuart Spencer
Callister, Hendricks and Spencer PLC

Andre Urquidez
Merced College
Senior Accounting Manager

Daniel Sabzehzar 
Marcom Strategies/UC Blum Center

John Ceccoli 
Merced County H.S.A.

Garrett Johnson

Tim Robertson
Regionsl Director North Valley Labor Federation



Jeremy Martinez, C.E.O. 
209 383-4242 Email: jeremy@unitedwaymerced.org

Bob Bauer, MA, Director of Program Development 
209 383-4242 Email:Bob@unitedwaymerced.org

Debbie Ripley, Executive Assistant
209 383-4242 Email: dripley@unitedwaymerced.org

Milly  Yang, Director of Finance
209 383-4242 Email: milly@unitedwaymerced.org

Brenda Bullard, Administrative Assistant Finance
209 383-4242, Email: Brenda@unitedwaymerced.org

Phil Schmaus, Homeless Coordinator
209 383-4242, Email: Phil@unitedwaymerced.org

Octavio Valencia, Homeless to Housing Outreach Coordinator
209 383-4242, Email: Octavio@unitedwaymerced.org

Linda Dash, Homeless to Housing Outreach Coordinator
209 383-4242, Email: linda@unitedwaymerced.org

Gabriela Trujillo, Mountain Valley 2-1-1 Database Manager
209 383-4242, Email: Brenda@unitedwaymerced.org

Sol Rivas, Hub Manager, Building Healthy Communities
209 383-4242 Email: Sol@unitedwaymerced.org

Isai Palma, BHC Hub Administrative Coordinator
209 383-4242 Email: isai@unitedwaymerced.org

Mark Chalico, BHC Hub Communications Specialist
209 383-4242 Email: Mark@unitedwaymerced.org

Blanca Perez, BHC Hub Administrative Assistant
209 383-4242 Email: Blanca@unitedwaymerced.org

Claudia G. Corchado, Program Manager Cultiva La Salud
209 383-4242, Email: Claudia@unitedwaymerced.org

Juan Martinez, Program Manager Language Care Services
209 383-4242, Email: jmartinez@unitedwaymerced.org

Elva Pena, Language Care Coordinator
209 383-4242, Email: elva@unitedwaymerced.org


Annual Report 2014-2015

2015 Financial Statement


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