Apr. 19, 2023
HEI Charitable Foundation Commitment to the AUW ALICE Fund
April 18, 2023
HEI Charitable Foundation has committed $300,000 toward ALICE Initiative efforts led by Aloha United Way and the Hawai’i Community Foundation. HEI is the parent company of Hawaiian Electric and American Savings Bank. They have pledged to give $100,000 annually for the next three years. This commitment arrived in the wake of several other local organizations also committing to the ALICE Initiative. This investment is yet another endorsement from the business community of ALICE Initiative leaders’ efforts to bring about systemic change through cross-sector collaboration and innovation.
HONOLULU – Established in 2018, the AUW ALICE Fund is the dedicated funding source for the ALICE Initiative. ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and represents individuals and families unable to cover basic household expenses and who possess little to no savings. ALICE Households are particularly vulnerable to emergencies and unforeseen expenses. ALICE Households run a serious risk of falling into poverty when faced with expenses or circumstances that more financially stable households can endure. ALICE Households lack stability, resiliency, and support.
The AUW ALICE Fund and ALICE Initiative were established in the wake of the first ALICE Report. The inaugural 2017 study was based on 2015 data sources and offered the first analysis of a previously undefined and underserved segment of the population. The initial study was made possible by investment from the Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, and Kamehameha Schools.
Since the first Hawaiʻi ALICE report, the ALICE Initiative has gained significant momentum. In 2022, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation pledged to invest $750,000 annually for the next three years to the AUW ALICE Fund and the 2022-2024 ALICE Cohort. The ALICE Initiative is led by the two organizations cooperatively which is by itself noteworthy. The second ALICE Cohort, a group of 17 nonprofit organizations working collectively and collaboratively, was established as increased funds allowed for expansion. The first ALICE Cohort was comprised of 10 nonprofits that worked through the COVID-19 pandemic from 2019-2021.
The HEI Charitable Foundationʻs $100,000 commitment is the most recent investment hailing from the business community and reflects the significant growth of the ALICE Initiative. Business and nonprofit leaders across Oʻahu have pledged to support efforts to stabilize ALICE Households. Scott Seu, HEI President & CEO and HEI Foundation Board Chair, underscored how important it is for the business community to support the Initiative. “At HEI we see it as our kuleana to help build a resilient community and to provide individuals and families the
opportunity to thrive. Our commitment to the ALICE Initiative is rooted in the belief that we can’t make significant change happen without deep and meaningful coordinated effort. The ALICE Initiative brings data, research, and stakeholders together to strengthen our community. We hope that many other business leaders and organizations will join the effort in the coming months,” said Seu. Hawai’
i was the only state in the country to publish a 2022 ALICE Report, thanks to support from Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation. The report, based on 2022 data, gave the public a grim view of Hawaiʻi’s current post-pandemic state. “The percentage of households in poverty has increased more than we ever would have thought, increasing from 9% to 15% after the shock of the pandemic, and that’s simply not acceptable. We are very grateful and excited that the HEI Charitable Foundation has joined AUW and its other partners in supporting this initiative to help improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands identified through our ALICE research,” said John Fink, President and CEO of Aloha United Way.
AUW’s leader was encouraged by recent investment and grateful for the outpouring of support. “We have gained momentum, but given the effects of the pandemic, the time to scale our efforts is now. Our goal is to exceed $2 million in funding for the ALICE Cohort this year and we can do it if community members and business leaders join us.”
If you would like to learn more about the ALICE Initiative, donate to the AUW ALICE Fund, or join the community of stakeholders invested in creating greater financial stability for ALICE Households, please visit Aloha United Way’s website. In addition to HEI Charitable Foundation, the ALICE Initiative is supported by the Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation, HMSA, Hawaiʻi Pacific Health, and Locations Foundation.
About Aloha United Way
Founded in 1919, Aloha United Way brings resources, organizations, and businesses together to advance the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. AUW has evolved over the years and adapted to meet our community’s greatest needs focusing on amplifying the work of local non-profit agencies and connecting people with resources through the 211 Statewide Resource Helpline, ALICE Initiative and Safety Net Fund. A member of United Way Worldwide, AUW supports nonprofits and communities on Oahu. For more information, visit AUW.org.