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Kenilworth United Fund: Longstanding, Civic-Minded Community Partner

August 18, 2016

Janet Burgoon Philanthropic Excellence Award Winner for Distinguished Community Partner.

The Kenilworth United Fund (KUF) is one of the area’s oldest and most respected organizations of its kind. It was formed in 1929 by Kenilworth residents concerned about the welfare of those unable to obtain social services due to their economic circumstances. Over the decades, the Kenilworth United Fund has supported a mix of agencies, and in the past year, the KUF has provided $125,000 to 13 organizations. Per its Charter, eligible agencies must in some way support Kenilworth residents. The rigorous 21-page application form assures KUF that the monies they disperse are going to organizations that are true to their missions. Agencies that have benefited from Kenilworth United Fund donations serve those with mental health and development issues, those with personal and family problems of all types, including depression, epilepsy and other conditions.

“We’re delighted to be a steady supporter of the North Shore Senior Center,” says Charlie Brown, Kenilworth United Fund board member. “We know that the Center is a valuable resource to a large and growing community.”

KUF also recognizes the ways in which North Shore Senior Center is expanding and appreciates the large volunteer base that helps maintain the Center’s high-quality programs and its continued growth. “North Shore Senior Center has about 500 volunteers and that really resonates for us,” adds Charlie. “The Center is a perfect combination of an organization run like a business and a community partner that cares deeply about the people it serves.”

Kenilworth United Fund is best known for its Porch Light Night, which takes place on the first Monday of every October. An 80-year tradition, Porch Night Light begins with a team of dedicated volunteers who go door to door asking for contributions to support the charitable programs funded by the KUF. In fact, half of the funds Kenilworth United Fund hands out come from this annual fundraising campaign.

“It’s kind of extraordinary that we’re still raising money this way,” says Charlie, “but people have come to expect Porch Night Light. It’s part of Kenilworth’s rich history and, of course, it’s a great way for the community to come together to do good.”