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$250 added to every donation to United Way of the Columbia-Willamette in May.

Systems change requires bold, new steps – $250 will be added to any donation—any amount this month. Let's help our community thrive!

Presented by United Way April 27, 2022

Your support helps Early Learning Multnomah & Early Learning Washington County create a more equitable education system.

It takes bold steps to enact the change we at United Way of the Columbia-Willamette see as necessary. And with those bold steps come exciting opportunities to redefine what’s possible. This spring, we’re pursuing a fundraising appeal that offers the chance for any and every member of our community to help make a lasting, direct impact on the resilience of families. If you donate to United Way of the Columbia-Willamette this month, $250 will be added to your gift – no matter the amount – thanks to a generous community supporter who shares our vision that gifts of all amounts can make an impact in our community.

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette raised more than $700,000 to support 30 non-profits serving communities of color, low-income communities and undocumented individuals in response to the 2020 Oregon wildfires.

This participatory fundraising drive is intrinsically linked to our desire to build a more equitable region, emphasizing the importance of every potential donor and moving our nonprofit away from a model that is over-reliant on the whims of million-dollar donors. A hundred people donating $5 each result in $25,500 to our funded partners! This fundraising effort builds stability for us and our community expands our impact and invites a new crowd into change-making and philanthropy.

United Way’s Early Learning teams prepare preschool students for kindergarten.

The mission of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette is to improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity by mobilizing the caring power of people across our region. We intentionally focus our community investments using a racial equity lens centered around the three pillars of our Resilient Families Initiative. These three pillars are:

  • Education: Quality early learning experiences lead to health and future achievement, but many children in our region still do not have access to preschool. High-quality preschool is particularly needed for low-income children of color, who often start kindergarten behind their peers. Closing this gap early is key to learning success. We invest in early education programs focused on children of color because data shows that they are most affected by the inequity in our education system.
  • Housing Stability: Housing instability is at an all-time high in our region, especially for BIPOC families. Evictions are soaring and, without swift action that considers the entire rental ecosystem, many more children and families will end up unhoused and in need of transitional housing support. We invest in both eviction prevention assistance to prevent houselessness as well as transitional housing that provides services to create long-term housing stability.
  • Disaster & Crisis Response: Through our wildfire and pandemic work, non-profit leaders shared profound gaps in culturally appropriate communications, evacuation, shelter, vaccination access, and other systems intended to alert and protect the state’s residents. Communities of color do not have the support they need during or after a crisis. We invest in non-profits that focus on BIPOC communities before, during, and after a disaster or crisis.

The Resilient Families Initiative prioritizes work in communities of color that are most impacted by inequities. These three pillars work together to build resilient families and communities. In these uncertain and trying times, we hope to focus on building a strong community of supporters that know their donations and volunteer efforts make a difference. Now is the time to join in the effort, donate today!

In 2021, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette pledged $1.2 million dollars to support the Bybee Lakes Hope Center, a transitional housing facility run by Oregon nonprofit Helping Hands.

Help us amplify the mission!

  • Make a one-time donation this month and $250 will be added to your gift.
  • Set up monthly recurring donations and a one-time $500 contribution will be added to your pledge.
  • Share information about our fundraiser on social media and use the hashtag #UnitedWayPDX and another $250 will be added to your gift.

Housing is a human right, and at United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, we’re dedicated to shredding the systems that deny that right to so many in our region.

We want anyone and everyone to have a chance to make an impact and ensure everyone in our community can thrive.

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