Dalgona coffee, the rise of TikTok, riding down the center of Kalākaua Avenue and swimming at an empty beach. Patiently repeating to colleagues, “you’re on mute.” DIY haircuts (or longer styles if you were smart and didn’t trust yourself with scissors).
Memories from 2020 are already starting to get fuzzy around the edges. We baked bread. We hoped for a vaccine. We lost jobs and sometimes loved ones. Calls to Aloha United Way’s 211 statewide helpline grew by more than 300% as local people scrambled for help.
It wasn’t all warm bread and gardening. As a community, we were faced with unprecedented challenges ranging from housing and food to education and near 50% unemployment. 2021 brought us vaccines and boosters, rising inflation, and continued supply chain shortages. The COVID-19 pandemic shaped up to be more permanent than expected. Numbers of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households were growing in Hawai‛i.
Aloha United Way worked with more than 1,400 companies to raise money to help. From essential employees to everyone working from home, employees from our workplace campaign partners jumped into the fray. These innovative workplace campaign coordinators ran everything from virtual golf tournaments (who knew?) to virtual hula lessons and online bake sales. Leadership from organizations big and small inspired their staff to give, matching gifts personally. Teachers, unions, real estate companies, and even restaurants joined the fight for our community.
Because we are unable to honor our workplace champions in-person, AUW has created a Spirit of Community Awards Yearbook for the “Giving Class of 2020-21”. We are incredibly grateful to our fundraising champions who worked so hard for our community. The yearbook will be released in late August both virtually and in-print to commemorate and celebrate the fundraising efforts of so many across the state.
If you would like to run a workplace giving campaign, learn more about the process, or checkout the Spirit of Community Awards Yearbook, please visit our campaign resources page or contact us at [email protected].