Aloha United Way Ignites Change Through Girl Power
(Sponsored) Following a long history of helping Hawai‘i’s women and children, the nonprofit’s affinity group, Women United, is proving that the future is female.
Back in 1919, for the first time in Hawai’i, multiple charitable organizations worked together to jointly raise money for their respective organizations. That allowed them to save money on fundraising individually which allowed more money to be spent in the community. That was a novel idea. The original 17 charities shared similar purposes and were united by a common goal-to improve the lives of others.
Looking at that original list of 17 charities, a few themes emerge – the need to care for children and women. The Susannah Wesley Home opened in 1903 to provide shelter for Japanese and Korean widows and children. The organization also focused on girls 11 to 16 who were in danger of being sold and exploited. From charity hospitals, schools, and orphanages – Hawai’i was hard at work building a better life for the diverse population here on O’ahu.
Today, women comprise a higher percentage of donors, volunteers, and individuals working in nonprofit settings. Analyzing AUW’s 211 Helpline data, women also make up a higher percentage of those requesting help from the service. Women are still helping women and children today. Aloha United Way’s Women United Affinity Group is part of a global network of more than 70,000 women working to ignite change in their communities. Aloha United Way’s Women United help women and children right here on O’ahu.
On April 30th, 2022 the Aloha United Way’s Women United is making their celebratory return to event fundraising with the sold-out Chocolate, Champagne & Couture for-a-Cause at the Four Seasons Resort Ko Olina. The event will take place, in-person, for the first time in two years. Not that the group was quiet during the pandemic – not at all. The group supported female-led households with rent and utility assistance at the peak of the pandemic in 2020. As so many of us were faced with career changes, either due to necessity or force in 2021, the group supported programs like IHS’ Holomua Na Wahine Program, providing women with opportunities to pursue post-secondary education and long-term career development.
“It’s an outstanding group of women and we’re growing. It’s about balance. We balance the needs of our career, family, community and ourselves – it takes the support of other women to find strength and inspiration. That’s why I’m part of Women United. It’s about giving, but you receive a lot in return, said Women United Board Chair, Dee Lim. The group is still growing and has many opportunities to support community work and one another year-round.
We invite you to learn more about Women United and Aloha United Way. As a member and volunteer, youʻll be connected with a strong group of women and opportunities to engage in your community.