Our History

On December 5, 1930, fourteen community leaders filed the Articles of Incorporation for the "Greater Johnstown Community Chest".  As stated in the document, the corporation was formed "to afford the people of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and vicinity, an opportunity, through a common fund, to contribute to, and have expended for, the well-being of their fellows, to strengthen the spirit of human helpfulness, to endeavor to eliminate and prevent disease, pauperism, delinquency and other social disorders; and to finance the maintenance requirements of, and otherwise assist in, and harmonize the work of the civic, charitable, humane, benevolent and philanthropic organizations of the community, and to be the center of communication between such organizations; and for these purposes to have, possess and enjoy all the rights, benefits and privileges of the said Act of Assembly and its supplements".

Today, the United Way of the Laurel Highlands (UWLH), is an independent, volunteer-driven, community leading organization responsible for creating, expanding, and accelerating positive social change in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Most recently, we have most recently been working to build a framework around shared community goals, collaborative actions, evidence-based outcomes, and investment and sustainability. We evaluate, measure and report to the community the positive change that occurs around targeted social change initiatives. To implement our work we follow our Enhanced Community Impact Model© as shown below:


Social Change Initiatives

  1. Early Childhood Education
  2. Parental Engagement
  3. Youth Drug & Alcohol Prevention

Our Goals

The United Way of the Laurel Highlands funds 27 diverse Partner Agencies that come together to solve these complex social problems and provide needed services in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Specific evidence-based programming introduced and/or expanded in Cambria and Somerset Counties to address the Social Change Initiatives are; The Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, and Botvin LifeSkills Training. 

As an independent, volunteer-driven, community leading organization, responsible for creating, expanding, and accelerating positive social change, the UWLH has established networks, partnerships, and long-term strategic initiatives to benefit the communities of Cambria and Somerset Counties. Working together, we can move toward achieving a shared community vision, with evidence-based measurable outcomes, that are sustainable. 

  1. Preparing all children socially, emotionally, and academically for kindergarten,
  2. Increasing parental knowledge of child development and care, and,
  3. Prevent substance abuse among our youth.

Our Mission

To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community.