You may be familiar with Maui United Way's orange lawn signs that have popped up recently at businesses throughout Maui County with our motto - "Think We Before Me" - reminding us of the importance to "Give. Advocate. Volunteer."
Those signs remind us that on Maui, 1 in 2 people will be touched by Maui United Way at some point in their lifetime, and more than 64 percent of all Maui United Way funding serves clients under the federal poverty level.
When you contribute to Maui United Way you are helping support the work of 36 health and human service programs from vital agencies including the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Women Helping Women, to name just a few.
This year marks Maui United Way's 50th year of providing service to Maui's community, where 98 percent of every dollar stays on Maui addressing our local needs.
In addition, when you contribute to Maui United Way, either directly or through a workplace giving campaign, you can designate any or all of your contribution to your favorite 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
We extend our most sincere gratitude to the thousands of Maui individuals and businesses who have contributed time and money to Maui United Way. With your support in 2011, Maui United Way touched the lives of more than 75,000 people in need and provided hope for a better life.
We work to improve lives, motivate people to help others, increase resources to meet needs and inspire solutions to community problems. Our goal is to create long-lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place.
Maui United Way's funding of local Maui nonprofit organizations targets your contributions, with 30 percent going to education, 20 percent for income and programs targeting financial stability and 50 percent to improve people's health.
This year, Maui United Way will continue our work to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. These are the building blocks for a good life - a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement and good health.
As members of a united community, working together we can advance the common good by giving, advocating or volunteering at nonprofits.
At Maui United Way, we invite everyone to live united and to be a part of the long-lasting changes we seek by asking if your place of employment has a workplace campaign or by contacting us at 244-8787 to find out how to start one where you work.
I respectfully seek your support in continuing to sustain Maui United Way to serve as a powerful force for change in our community.
Mahalo for your support.
* Laksmi Abraham is the president and chief professional officer of Maui United Way. For more information, go to www.mauiunitedway.org.