Aloha United Way was planning its annual workplace giving campaign when the global pandemic hit in 2020. It forced Aloha United Way, for the first time in more than 100 years, to work with the community and workplaces in a profoundly new way.
“We had never experienced anything like it,” said Emmaly Calibraro, Vice President of Resource Development & Donor Relations for Aloha United Way. “There were no rallies, no in-person contact, but we were facing unprecedented need and job loss as a community.
“We operated in crisis mode and our campaign coordinators and leadership didn’t miss a beat. They rallied on Zoom, ran virtual classes and did everything to make fundraising happen.”
To commemorate those efforts, the Aloha United Way has created a yearbook of the “Giving Class of 2020-2021.” The yearbook, available in print and digital, will be distributed to winners and every organization that participated in workplace giving campaigns over the two dark event years.
The Spirit of Community Awards, prior to 2020, was an annual event that celebrated the achievements of workplaces. From 100% employee participation to awards for creative fundraising tactics and spirit, the event was a joyful one that many people looked forward to each spring.
“We are social creatures, and the [Spirit of Community Awards] event brought hundreds of different workplaces and employees together,” said John Fink, CEO & President of Aloha United Way. “People enjoyed that feeling of camaraderie and accomplishment at the end of the giving season. The yearbook is intended to celebrate and honor the individuals who worked so hard to help the community when so many were in desperate need.”
Workplaces have been invited to ask every campaign participant from 2020 and 2021 to sign the pages of the yearbook and enjoy the piece together.
“The yearbook was designed to be touched and saved,” said Carolyn Hyman, Marketing & Communications Director. “The pages really represent what we as a community were able to collectively accomplish in the face of unprecedented challenges. Everyone was hurting but came together to give and that’s something that deserves to be recognized.”
Last year, Aloha United Way invested more than $12 million into the community, helped more than 88,000 people via the AUW 211 resource helpline, and supported nearly 350 nonprofit partner agencies.
Workplace giving campaigns have been launched once again across the island. To view the Spirit of Community Awards Yearbook and the winners, please visit our SOCA Yearbook page.
For those who want to give or begin a workplace campaign, visit www.auw.org/start-workplace campaign-today or email Emmaly Calibraro, Aloha United Way vice president of fundraising and major gifts at email@example.com.