For over 100 years, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been working to meet the needs of vulnerable families and individuals in our region. No matter the crises, we have always remained steadfast in our commitment to LIVE UNITED and take care of our community. Our commitment to racial equity is the lens through which we center all of our work. The four pillars of our impact are guided by this commitment, because we recognize the insidious and prevailing existence of systemic racism and its constant and corrosive impact on our region and country. Through Early Education, Crisis Resiliency, Housing Stability and Volunteerism, we hope to begin the journey toward correcting this historic inequity and building a more equitable region for all.
We are uniquely positioned in our region to bring people, community partners, foundations, businesses and government agencies together to build awareness of the challenges that systemic racism creates, focus on where the need is the greatest and scale what works to create sustainable impact.
A just and equitable region where all people can thrive.
We advance equity by mobilizing, responding and investing with our community partners to improve and strengthen lives.
- EQUITY - We intentionally choose to center racial equity in decision-making.
- COLLABORATION - We recognize that systemic change requires centering the voices of those most impacted by building inclusive relationships.
- EMPATHY - We commit to understanding the experiences, perspectives, and feelings of others before we act.
- COURAGE - We take bold steps to affect systemic change.
- AGILITY - We understand, adapt and respond quickly in an ever-evolving environment.
Together, we can make our region a better place for everyone.
With your support, we can continue investing in our region's kids and families.
While we continue to face the impacts of an ongoing pandemic and economic challenges, great things happened last year at United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. By focusing our funding and fundraising efforts on housing stability, disaster and crisis resiliency, early learning education and volunteerism, we were able to invest more than $9.5 million into our community.
Thanks to the support of our staff, volunteers, individual donors and corporate partners, we were also able to center racial equity and focus our funding on communities of color. We acknowledge that structural racism continues to contribute to inequities in our region and we still have tremendous work to do.
This past year, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette also underwent a strategic planning process and we will formalize our three-year strategic plan in the coming months. Our fiscal year ended with very exciting news — we hired Kelly O’Lague as our new CEO. Kelly comes to us with years of experience and we are excited she has joined our team.
As we look ahead, we remain deeply committed to helping create a just and equitable region where all people can thrive. Thank you for standing united with us!
Sean Edwards, Board of Directors Chair
Volunteer: Spend time working directly on projects that benefit kids the most.
Give: Support our collective effort in making our region a better place for everyone.
Connect: Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to stay informed on the impact of our efforts.
Learn: Becoming anti-racist is a constant journey, unique to each person. Always be looking to check your own biases, read work from authors of color, appreciate art from artists of color and continue on the path towards racial equity alongside us. Look through our blog for stories highlighting our funded partners, learn about our efforts to build a coalition of BIPOC leaders prepared for disaster and learn about our efforts to empower the people of Albina-Rockwood neighborhood.