AUW OVERVIEW

Our Mission
Aloha United Way advances the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community by bringing together resources, organizations, and people.

Leading With Equity
We believe that diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice are essential for a healthy society. It is our responsibility to actively practice and promote these values and condemn all forms of discrimination in our daily work. 

Aloha United Way recognizes the impacts of colonialism, structural racism, ethnic discrimination, and other forms of oppression that have had significant and disproportionate influences on generations of people in Hawai’i. We acknowledge that these inequities are the result of systems and practices that have contributed and continue to contribute to persistent disparities. Each community member, donor, volunteer, advocate, and employee must have equal access to solving community problems.
 
Aloha United Way funds impact-based programs to improve the socio-economic status, health outcomes, education, and overall well-being of Native Hawaiian and other historically marginalized communities, and is committed to working with community partners to co-create solutions with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) that dismantle these systemic inequities and create an equitable and just Hawai’i where everyone has access to the resources, support, opportunities and networks needed to thrive.   
 
Aloha United Way subscribes to the United Way Vision for Equity as outlined in the United Way Worldwide Equity Framework.

Our Roots
Aloha United Way was originally established by Frank C. Atherton as the United Welfare Fund, under the Chamber of Commerce, in 1919 to create a more efficient way of distributing charitable giving. As Hawaii has changed and evolved over the last 100 years, so has our mission and work.

Our Evolution
In 2017 we commissioned ALICE®: A Study of Financial Hardship in Hawaii to identify those in our state who are struggling and understand the complex issues that impact them. In 2019 we formed the first ALICE grantee cohort to bring stakeholders together to affect change to the system whose dynamics continue to make it virtually impossible for ALICE families and individuals to become financially stable and upwardly mobile.

The Aloha United Way legacy has been built on our history of adapting to meet our community’s greatest needs. As we look to the next 100 years, we will continue to take the lead in creating an equitable environment where every family and individual is empowered, thriving, able to weather acute and chronic hardships, and is continually striving to better their community.

With the core understanding that sustainable change cannot be developed in isolation, we depend on supporters who share our vision of a better life for our community today and for generations to come.