PARIS — Months after the United Way of Oxford County closed its doors, the United Way of Androscoggin County agreed to provide coverage to the territory originally covered by its now-shuttered counterpart.

The Oxford County branch of United Way formed in 1989 and was the smallest of Maine’s 10 United Way organizations.

Jim Douglas, chairman of the United Way Oxford County board and director of Healthy Oxford Hills, said the Oxford County board decided 3 1/2 years ago to try and switch from a part-time executive director position to a full-time position.

“We were given a two- or three-year window to make it work and find a way to make it financially viable,” Douglas said.

“In many ways it was successful but in the end, we just couldn’t find a way to make the numbers work. With a fairly heavy heart, we made the decision to close our doors.”

Douglas said since the United Way of Oxford County was serving “12 to 15 small, nonprofit businesses,” the United Way of Androscoggin County agreed to inherit the territory covered by the Oxford County branch and continue collecting donations for its partner agencies and programs.

“As a partner agency, I am delighted that United Way of Androscoggin County will serve our community,” said Jennifer Putnam, a former board member of United Way of Oxford County and executive director of Progress Center Inc. in Norway.

“They already have relationships with many of the nonprofit agencies serving Oxford County and we are looking forward to working with them.”

Joleen Bedard, executive director of the United Way of Androscoggin County, said her branch will vote “sometime next year” to place two or three Oxford County residents on the Androscoggin board of directors.

Douglas said he believes having Oxford County residents on the Androscoggin board will “help ensure the county has a voice moving forward.”

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