Montgomery County United Way merger moves forward, decision expected to boost local dollars

A merger to form one regional organization between the United Way of Greater Houston and the Montgomery County United Way officially took effect March 1.


Following a vote by the MCUW board of trustees in early February, a two-thirds majority of donors also approved the merger during an annual member meeting Feb. 24.


Montgomery County United Way merger moves forward, decision expected to boost local dollars“For us, this was the way to most assure we grow on the great work that’s been done here before,” MCUW board Chairwoman Christi Thoms-Knox said. “We think there is a lot of upside potential to what we can do in Montgomery County and the surrounding counties we serve. Not merging would have meant a lot of cuts to programs and nonprofits in this area that are doing great work.”


Talks of a potential merger between the two United Way organizations began about a year ago in response to requests from multiple corporate donors, Thoms-Knox said.


“[The donors] were wanting to hit the easy button,” she said. “They had campuses where employees came from all parts of the city—as far south as Clear Lake and Sugar Land and up this way—so they had employees living all over the city and dealing with numerous United Ways in some cases.”


Not fully understanding the impetus of the donor piece of the puzzle at the time, the MCUW decided to remain independent initially, Thoms-Knox said. However, last fall the potential merger came up again as a way to feed more dollars locally into the community.


“We think we found a way to best put together the two organizations into one that provides a dedication to the Montgomery County United Way and to continue the funding of impact programs and services here in the county,” Thoms-Knox said.


Although the headquarters for the United Way of Greater Houston is inside the city of Houston, the existing United Way facility in The Woodlands will remain operational. It will serve as a hub for fundraising, community impact work and volunteer programs. Additionally, all MCUW board members at the time of the merger were invited to serve on a United Way of Greater Houston regional council, which will have several responsibilities.


“The greatest of which is deciding where the dollars go in this area,” Thoms-Knox said. “The regional council will have several committees reporting up to it—education, health and wellness, community impact work and financial stability.”


The regional council reports directly to the United Way of Greater Houston board of trustees for a stamp of approval for the dollars.


“They’ve never rejected an investment recommendation from their centers,” Thoms-Knox said.

By Marie Leonard
Marie came to Community Impact Newspaper in June 2011 after starting her career at a daily newspaper in East Texas. She worked as a reporter and editor for the Cy-Fair edition for nearly 5 years covering Harris County, Cy-Fair ISD, and local development and transportation news. She then moved to The Woodlands edition and covered local politics and development news in the master-planned community before being promoted to managing editor for the South Houston editions in July 2017.


MOST RECENT

Face coverings are now required for those entering polling places in Texas during the general election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Citing racial discrimination, district court judge voids exemption to face covering order for voters, poll workers

A district judge's decision sided with arguments that an exemption to the statewide face covering order violated the Voting Rights Act due to disproportionate effects of COVID-19 for Black and Latino Americans.

A new $40 million COVID-19 relief fund is opening to Harris County residents from Nov. 2-6. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County to provide $40 million in new needs-based COVID-19 relief funding starting Nov. 2

A new $40 million COVID-19 relief fund is opening to Harris County residents from Nov. 2-6.

Montgomery County Commissioners Court met Oct. 27 for a regular meeting, which was broadcast live online. (Screenshot via Montgomery County)
$800K in CARES Act money will convert Lone Star Convention Center for jury, courthouse uses during pandemic

The convention center will see technology and security upgrades to use as a courthouse, but weekend events will still go on as scheduled, Montgomery County officials said.

The Center for Houston’s Future released a report Oct. 28 that looks at the economic vitality of the region’s health care system and assesses the region’s community health. (Courtesy Pexels)
Report: 1 in 4 jobs added by 2036 in Greater Houston will be in the health care sector

However, failing to further develop a talent pipeline in medical expertise would lead to job losses, the report notes.

Volunteers take donations during the 2019 holiday food drive. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)
Montgomery County Food Bank announces November start for holiday food drive

Donations will be collected at two locations Dec. 4.

Inspired by Nashville hot chicken, the new restaurant will offer chicken tender bites, jumbo chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches and bone-in chicken with five heat level options, from "Wimpy" to "Cluckin' Hot." (Courtesy Tumble 22)
Tumble 22's Nashville hot chicken coming to Klein and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The new location features a menu of pizzas, pasta, wings and salads. (Courtesy Center Court Pizza and Brew)
Center Court Pizza and Brew opens Spring location on Gosling Road

The new location features a menu of pizzas, pasta, wings and salads.

East Shore residents and the Howard Hughes Corp. came to a compromise on the development of the island in the community's midst on Lake Woodlands. (Courtesy Howard Hughes Corp.)
Amendment designating 30-home maximum for The Woodlands' East Shore island to go before committee Nov. 4

Neighborhood residents and developer Howard Hughes Corp. reached a compromise on the number of homes for the island in Lake Woodlands.

Montgomery County commissioners met Oct. 27 for a regular Commissioners Court meeting. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County to reimburse schools with CARES funds at estimated $40 per student

Under the $40 per student estimate, Montgomery County could provide about $4.4 million in CARES funds to school districts.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also spearheaded an effort to establish a $10 million Early Childhood Impact Fund, which was approved in a split 3-2 vote Oct. 27. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County establishes $10M Early Childhood Impact Fund, selects organizations to administer additional $7.3M in assistance

Approximately $17.3 million in assistance programs will soon be available to Harris County residents in need, thanks to three programs recently established by the Harris County Commissioners Court.

The boutique focuses on fashionable and affordable women's clothing, shoes and accessories. (Courtesy Golden Gray Boutique)
Golden Gray Boutique opens in Market Street in The Woodlands

The boutique focuses on fashionable and affordable women's clothing, shoes and accessories.

The newly approved rate of $0.59920 per $100 valuation is a decrease of $0.01250 from the FY 2019-20 tax rate of $0.61170 per $100 valuation; it is intended to mitigate rising property values across the county, officials said. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approves tax rate decrease for FY 2020-21

The newly approved rate of $0.59920 per $100 valuation is a decrease of $0.01250 from the FY 2019-20 tax rate of $0.61170 per $100 valuation.