Early in 2011, rumors began circulating that the United Way of Upper Sandusky and Pitt Township (UWUSPT) would soon be closing its doors. When a United Way closes, United Way Worldwide (UWW) routinely assigns responsibility for the area to a neighboring United Way, using zip codes as a means of designation.
In mid-April of 2011, United Way of Marion County received a call from Hancock County Executive Director Keith DuVernay, who advised that he had been contacted by UWW about accepting the four zip codes currently being covered by United Way of Upper Sandusky and Pitt Township. He indicated that the Hancock County Board had little or no interest in running a campaign or providing any other services in Wyandot County. He added that the Carey United Way had closed several years ago and that they had accepted the zip code but did nothing in the community but act as a pass-through for a single industry that continued to fundraise. He asked if United Way of Marion County would consider taking the zip codes instead.
As a matter of due diligence, Pam Stone met with the former UWUSPT Board President Mark Rahl. He explained that their situation was due to a lack of professional, financial and volunteer resources, which had been steadily declining. She also met with the UWUSPT Executive Secretary Carolyn Frederick. Both seemed amenable to working with United Way of Marion County.
The United Way of Marion County Board of Trustees investigated both the advantages and disadvantages of taking on the new territory, including the additional resources needed to handle a campaign and allocations in another community. Advantages included being able to raise money to support the services that people from the UWUSPT area would consume here in Marion County. They also reasoned that a regional United Way would be better able to stand against absorption by a larger neighboring United Way in the future.
On April 27, 2011, the Marion County Board of Trustees voted to also become the United Way of Wyandot County upon the formal closure of UWUSPT on June 30 and recruited an ad-hoc committee of residents from both counties to plan and execute the actual transition.
A Wyandot County campaign took place in the fall of 2011 and $20,000 was raised.