For 100 years, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette (UWCW) has been working to meet the needs of vulnerable families in our region. No matter the crises, we have always remained steadfast in our commitment to LIVE UNITED and take care of our community.

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 poverty creates, focus on where the need is the greatest and scale what works to create sustainable impact.

Our Mission

Improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity by mobilizing the caring power of people across our region.

We’re working hard to create a future where kids in our region are free from instability and worry so they can be free to play and discover, free to learn and grow. 
Free from poverty. Free to reach their potential.

Right now, 20% of kids in the Portland region live in poverty and 1 in 3 families can't pay for basic needs.

That’s 1 in 7 kids whose families must choose between:

• Rent or groceries
• Heat or healthcare
• New clothes or TriMet fare

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.

Message from John Ewert, Board Chair

It gives me great pride to be the Board Chair of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette (UWCW). As a nonpartisan, effective community problem solver and convener, UWCW has been the place where people come together to help one another and create collective impact.

Our kids and families need assistance now, especially our low-income families and BIPOC families who are being left behind. In the wake of COVID-19 and the economic downturn, it is clear there is no going back to “normal” especially when what we had before was failing many of our families of color. As we look toward reducing the long-term impacts of the pandemic, we need to reimagine new systems that result in more equitable and resilient communities.

That’s why UWCW launched the Resilient Families Initiative. Through this fund, and in collaboration with nonprofit partners, we will provide supportive housing services, prioritizing families of color with the highest risk of being displaced and divert these families from becoming houseless.

When families are stably housed, they can focus on their health and well-being, including their children’s education. All of which increases a child’s ability to thrive later in life and reduces the likelihood of poverty.

I hope you will join us in helping our community recover, become more resilient, while building a more inclusive and equitable region where all families have the resources and opportunities to thrive.

Thank you for standing united and continuing to invest in our region’s kids and families.

In Gratitude,

John Ewert, Board Chair
United Way of the Columbia-Willamette

How can you continue to support our mission?

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.