The United Way of Los Angeles is a volunteer social welfare agency dedicated to uniting government, private agencies, and individuals to meet the needs of the socially needy. It was created in 1963, the result of the consolidation of thirty-three Los Angeles area city and local community chests, some of which dated to ca. 1920. With the growth of the Los Angeles area, the consolidation of community charitable giving and agencies under the leadership of a directing organization was considered necessary in order that volunteer, community giving be better organized. With the continued growth of the Los Angeles area, the United Way was restructured into five regions in 1971. This move would form strong leadership from locally based branches of United Way--still under the umbrella of the United Way of Los Angeles--that would be better able to recognize and respond to local needs. The United Way now serves some four million families in the Los Angeles area, through the efforts of some 250 organizations.