freeborn county

Uniting people and resources to improve lives. United Way of Freeborn County collaborates to connect people, resources and ideas to create a thriving community characterized by measurable and long-lasting improvements in education, income and health.



“We are very excited for the United Way of Freeborn County Campaign to start. We are adding some new and exciting events this year and we hope that you can be a part of them. Donating to the campaign is a great way to help those in Freeborn County who are in need of our agencies’ services.”

Past UWFC Chair, Joe Lubke

People like talking about the good ol’ days. It’s ingrained in our natures to reflect on the past. Others like talking about the future. That’s also ingrained in our natures, to look ahead at what’s to come. Here at UWFC, we’re going to be doing both this fall.

We’re looking to the future with a refresh of our website and social media. We’re laying a strong foundation with restructuring and updating our policies and forming new partnerships. We’re asking to hear about what our community needs are, and how we can help.

But with all this refreshing, it’s important to remember that our core mission is still the same as when the organization was called Community Chest in 1927. It’s the same as when the name evolved to Albert Lea United Fund. It’s the same as when Albert Lea United Fund merged with Freeborn Combined Charities in 1984 to become officially United Way of Freeborn County.



We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel here. Instead, we’d like to remind our community of who we are, and what we stand for. So celebrate the many years of community giving with us this fall. Starting in September, we hope you’ll enjoy the retrospective of historical articles, the retro logos and graphics, and the “throwbacks” that you’ll see pop up around town and on social media.



Originally called The Community Chest. Founded in 1927.


The number of programs supported grows from three to twelve.


World War II changes the community & workforce.


The baby boom shifts focus to youth and families.


Community Chest becomes the United Fund.


Responds to ethnic and social transformation.


The United Fund became the United Way of Freeborn County


Technology begins to change our world and the way we interact.


The United Way plans for a new millennium.


United Way Freeborn County takes on disaster response and mental health awareness.


UWFC is committed to bringing residents a brighter tomorrow.

What we do

We encourage all community members to join the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Freeborn County.


The rising income and opportunity disparities hurt us all. All of us contribute to help the 1 in 4 people in our community that live in poverty, so that everyone can reach their full potential through greater access to education, jobs and safety net services. 


Education and job training are essential for people to reach their full potential, leading to a living wage and a stronger economy. From cradle to career, we work to ensure that all people meet academic and developmental milestones that lead to success in college, career and life.


When basic needs are consistently met, children are ready for school and adults are ready to work. Safety net strategies help people and families get the support they need to stabilize their lives, move toward self sufficiency and reach their full potential.

What you can do

There are lots of creative ways to give and get involved through United Way of Freeborn County. Together with your help, we can transform the lives of children and families in Freeborn County.


Volunteering your valuable time is one of the most impactful ways you can make a true difference in our community.


There are lots of creative ways to give; workplace campaigns, planned giving, and personal gifts all add up to remarkable results!


Show your support by joining us at our events, community impact efforts, and sharing our initiatives on social media.

programs you help fund by donating to uwfc

albert lea tribune: guest column

Click HERE for past “Live United” articles published by the Albert Lea Tribune

Amanda Buchanan - Board Chair

Human Resources Specialist/Safety Coordinator, Larson Manufacturing

Kathy Leidal

Public Affairs Specialist , Mayo Clinic Health Systems

Janelle Koepke-Vice Chair

Dean of Institutional Advancement , Riverland Community College

Susie Miller

Compliance Officer, Farmer's State Bank

Kevin LaFrance - TREASURER

Market Vice President, Home Federal Savings Bank

Nick Schiltz

Professor, Riverland Community College

Erica Cunningham-Secretary

Pastor, Salem Lutheran Church

John Double

Administrator on Special Assignment, Albert Lea Area Schools

Joe Lubke - Past Board Chair

General Manager, Express Employment Professionals

Marilyn Rasmussen

Mayo Clinic Health System

April Jeppson

Assistant Director, YMCA & Coach, Albert Lea Gymnastics Studio


Meet our Board of Directors

Behind all our work, there are people like you who get involved in big and small – but always significant – ways to ensure a better future for their family, friends, and for all of Freeborn County.

Diversity & Equality Opportunity. The United Way of Freeborn County values, champions, and embraces diversity in all aspects of UWFC activities. UWFC respects others without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, handicap, national origin or ancestry.