Aloha United Way provides a free, confidential service that that helps connect people with the resources they may need in the community.
One of our 2-1-1 specialist shared a call:
“I help hundreds of people since starting with Aloha United Way. There is one call that definitely stood out. It started with a woman named Lea who called 2-1-1. Talking with Lea, I found out that she works at a local store. Like every local store, there's that one person that knows everybody since she has been there forever and that was her. She had a special friendship with one of her customers, Jay. Jay came in every week. Sometimes she talked about just everyday things. Lea learned about Jay’s life and found out that Jay lived alone.
Lea took it upon herself to bring over groceries and check in on her. After a while, she found out that Jay maybe needed a little bit more help than she could provide so she decided to call 2-1-1 to find out what resources we could provide for Jay. We talked about a program that could check in on Jay. We talked about other things like getting help with food and food deliveries.
What really stood out to me in the call and what really touched me was that she was doing it to help Jay just that Jay was older. Jay was a kupuna (senior) and one day Lea would be that person that may need assistance from someone in the community. This one call, Lea gave me something that I didn't know I needed…it was hope. That people would be helping other people and taking care of others that are just strangers, that became friends and maybe become your family.
We exemplify that Aloha spirit by helping others when someone calls us. We're listening for their concerns. We're listening for two things: what they say they need, and sometimes for the things that they don't know they need. You can call us for help with your rent and in that conversation, we find out you need help with utilities.
Aloha United Way has been around for 100 years, helping the people of Hawaii. It is an honor and a privilege, and I am so humbled to be able to continue that legacy to help build a better Hawaii by helping one caller, one person at a time. “
Aloha United Way's 211 helpline provided Jay with information about food delivery and social programs. Today, Jay has easy access to healthy meals and groceries, and she made new friends in her neighborhood program.
In 2019, AUW’s 2-1-1 helpline received over 28,000 inquiries from Hawaii residents. In 2020 and 2021, AUW received over 170,000 inquiries each year. The top requested resources were rent/utility assistance, food, shelter, and healthcare. We also connect people with substance abuse, mental health services, veteran services, child and kapuna care, and so much more. Our phone and chat lines are open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. and our website auw211.org is available 24 hours a day.
Your support will allow us to continue to provide these type of services to all those in our community.