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History of United Way of Island County

United Way of Island County incorporated under United Good Neighbors of Whidbey Island (UGNWI) on July 14, 1970. UGNWI was formed following four years of joint planning by the civilian population and Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island. It was formed to support and assist locally recognized charitable health, welfare and recreational agencies through an annual federated fund drive. This united fund drive is undertaken to eliminate duplication of effort and to promote effective service and administration. The UGNWI was formed with twenty-four Board of Directors. Four of those founding members were from the U.S. Navy. There were four areas of representation with six representatives from Oak Harbor, Coupeville, South Whidbey and NAS Whidbey Island.

Agencies supported in 1970 were: The American Red Cross, United Service Organization, Catholic Children’s Services, Boy Scout of America, Girl Scout of America, Camp Fire Girls, Salvation Army, Oak Harbor Developmental Center for Retarded Children and the Florence Critteneton Home of Seattle. Many of these original agencies continue to be partners with United Way today. UGNWI employed one full-time director, Duane Kemp.

In 1973 UGNWI changed their name to United Way of Whidbey Island to reflect the change of the national organization from United Good Neighbors to United Ways across the country. On May 23, 1985 United Way of Whidbey Island changed their name to incorporate Camano Island to United Way of Island County.

In 2015, United Way of Island County provided funding to 9 different non-profits, encompassing 11 separate programs, in Island County. The Board of Directors consists of 10 members representing all of Island County. There are two staff members in the office Monday thru Friday: 

Executive Director - Cathy Niiro

Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper - Stephanie Pulliam


Copyright 2010-2016, United Way of Island County, all rights reserved.

United Way of Island County  350 SE Pioneer Way, Suite 101/P.O. Box 798; Oak Harbor, WA  98277
 Tel:  (360) 675-1778 - Fax: (360) 675-5157  Email: