2020 has been an enormously challenging year. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice against BIPOC communities, our region is also grappling with devastating loss caused by the wildfires.

Given all that we are facing, the lead up to the elections has been unprecedented in recent history. It has been heartening to see citizens in our region and across the nation take to the polls early and vote in record numbers to ensure their voices are heard during this critical time.

At United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, we recognize that structural racism and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities in our region. We address the root causes of poverty by putting racial equity at the center of our work. We remain committed to our values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and our unequivocal opposition to division, hate and systemic racism.

As a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, we are uniquely positioned in our region to bring people, community partners, foundations, businesses and government agencies together to focus where the need is greatest and scale what works to create sustainable impact. Regardless of the outcome of the election, we will continue to serve the most marginalized, and work to build stronger communities for tomorrow and well into the future. Everyone deserves to live in a society where they feel safe, respected and protected.

For 100 years, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been working to meet the needs of vulnerable families in our region. No matter the crises, we continue to remain steadfast in our commitment to take care of our community. We are all in this together and together we will build a more inclusive and equitable region where everyone has the resources and opportunities to thrive.