End of Year Message from Our CEO

Friday, Dec. 18, 2020

This extraordinary moment we all find ourselves in requires that I am especially thoughtful in the reflections I share with you — our supporters, partners and community — about United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s response to 2020 and what we learned in the process.

Celebrating Global Volunteer Month in the face of COVID-19

Monday, Apr. 27, 2020
April 2020 is the first-ever “Global Volunteer Month” to recognize the thousands of people around the world who serve their own communities – and in light of COVID-19, as a galvanizing moment to inspire and activate the next generation of volunteers who will help support the most vulnerable populations in the weeks and months ahead. During difficult times like we are facing now, I look to the dedicated individuals that support hundreds of nonprofit organizations and provide valuable service for inspiration. The beautiful thing is that volunteerism has never been easier to take part in.

Inspired by MLK Weekend of Service

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020

Hello and Aloha!
I am delighted to be in Portland having recently joined United Way of the Columbia-Willamette (UWCW) as its President and CEO in mid-December of 2019. Previously, I was with Aloha United Way in Honolulu.

Gaining Daily Inspiration Through Volunteering

Thursday, Sep. 12, 2019

I've been in Portland, Oregon almost 20 years now, half of my lifetime, so to say the least, I consider Portland my second home. And I want to make sure that I leave this place better than when I first got here, so I began volunteering.

I've come to the understanding now that life is not about me, it's about we.

"I Open Up a lot of Eyes:" Donor Spotlight on Andy Le

Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2019
Andy Le has been giving back to his community for nearly two decades. Each year Andy shares his story of receiving United Way's support in the hope that it inspires his colleagues at Comcast to give back too. We sat down with Andy to hear his incredible journey and how it all comes back to waffles. 

On the Journey to Advancing Racial Equity

Friday, Mar. 15, 2019

March 21st is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (#EndRacism Day), marked in observance of the 1960 police shooting of 69 people peacefully protesting apartheid in South Africa.

A Farewell to Mindy Coolidge, Program Director of Hands on Greater Portland

Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019

After over 15 years, United Way is saying good-bye to Hands On Greater Portland Program Director Mindy Coolidge. 

Mindy has an unyielding commitment to volunteerism in her community and has made tremendous efforts to expand the horizon of United Way's volunteer program. Playing an integral role in recruiting thousands of volunteers each year, Mindy has grown Hands On Greater Portland exponentially, while organizing volunteer events and, of course, providing her own service to our region as well. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Camille Bell

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

Days after MLK Weekend of Service 2019 has come to an end, Dr. King's message of giving back has still remained at the forefront of our community. Hands on Greater Portland, a volunteer program of United Way, has brought in thousands of volunteers over the years, and they have all played integral roles in adding value back into our region by providing their dedicated time. We sat down with volunteer leader Camille Bell to hear about what motivates her to be part of this important program. 

United Way Pledges to Reduce Poverty

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018

This year marked the 25th anniversary recognizing October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. With this year's theme centering on human rights, dignity and inclusion, there was an emphasis on the way in which people living in poverty are "disproportionately affected by many human rights violations."1 Under a lens of equity, this year's End Poverty Day was advocating bringing awareness to poverty in our own communities, encouraging everyone to come together to play a part. 

A is for Accountability

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018
Just over a year ago, I joined United Way’s Early Learning Multnomah team to help grow membership on the Parent Accountability Council. During this time I’ve witnessed the power parents can have in improving early learning systems and why accountability is key.

The Power of Culture

Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018
Part of our work at United Way has been understanding the ways systems (educational; economic; health) do or don’t meet the needs of today’s kids and families. A close and honest look quickly reveals an uncomfortable truth: virtually all of our modern systems have been shaped by a history of structural racism and disenfranchisement.