Associated Charities was founded in 1910 by a women’s group at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, located on Washington Street in Cumberland, Maryland. Their goal was to assist the needy, poor, and ill children and families of the community. As the years passed, many of the local churches collaborated to grow the number of types of assistance that was provided. A non-profit status, 501(c) (3) was attained in 1958 when Associated Charities became a partner of the local County United Way. During this period of time, Associated Charities was known as an emergency oriented organization that provided financial assistance and social services in any type of emergency, without regard to race, creed or religion. Assistance was mainly given to those temporarily out of income and resources. In addition to offering emergency assistance, it was a clearinghouse and a referral agency.
Then in 2001, Associated Charities medication program, previously known as the Western Maryland Prescription Program, became the Western Maryland Medbank Program. The Medbank Program partnered with the Washington County Health Care System of Maryland to offer an essential component of a prescription medication assistance network. Medbank provided access to pharmaceutical companies’ indigent assistance program for low-income individuals that provided access to comprehensive prescription medication assistance in Allegany County, Maryland. Thus, the evolution of the Emergency Assistance Program and the Short and Long Term Prescription Programs of Associated Charities began.
Through the years, the mission of Associated Charities has grown but the focus remains the same, providing assistance to those in need in order to promote a healthy and housed community. Currently the mission of Associated Charities is to provide emergency and life-saving assistance to low income, uninsured and under-insured families and individuals to promote a healthy, safe environment by providing ‘A hand up not a hand out’. The goal of Associated Charities is to keep the residents of Allegany County, Maryland healthy and living in safe affordable housing. The under-insured population also includes those that fall in the “doughnut hole” of Medicare Part D insurance.
Associated Charities is committed to stabilizing a crisis situation in order to move clients towards independence and an improved quality of life, all at no cost to the client. The Prescription Programs provide vital life saving medications free of charge. Associated Charities is the only non-profit organization in Allegany County, Maryland providing the medication assistance programs.