Supporting Shriners Hospital
Wednesday - January 25, 2012 Share
By Dorina Badget, High Priestess,
LOSNA Hawaii Court No. 60
The Ladies’ Oriental Shrine of North America (LOSNA) is an international nonprofit organization that is committed to supporting the children of Shriners Hospitals for Children network. Hawaii Court No. 60 is the local entity of LOSNA. I am currently serving as our High Priestess. Hawaii Court No. 60, instituted March 27, 1952, has dedicated its work all on a voluntary basis to support Shriners Hospitals for 58 years.
At the international level, LOSNA members contribute more than a half-million dollars to Shriners Hospitals each year.
Our court has continued to provide financial support through donations to the network of Shiners Hospitals.
These funds support research through the Grand Council of LOSNA. In addition, the ladies are devoted to giving their time to help at the Recreation Therapy Department of the local Shriners Hospital. We host annual Easter and Halloween parties and monthly bingo games for the children.
Since 2009, the ladies of Hawaii Court No. 60 have hosted a Murder Mystery Party as a fundraising event. Funds benefit the Shriners Hospital Transportation Fund, research projects, events for keiki, and food donations to patients and their families.
This year’s Murder Mystery Party, “Who Killed Madame Wong?” takes place Friday at Hee Hing Restaurant, located at 449 Kapahulu Ave. The event features a seven-course Chinese dinner, entertainment, a silent auction featuring a trip to Las Vegas from Vacations Hawaii, and the Chinese lion dance to ring in the Year of the Dragon.
Inspiring New Leaders
Wednesday - January 18, 2012 Share
By Marie Parducho, Member and Former Co-Vice President, FAMES
The Filipino-American Multi-Ethnic Society (FAMES) is committed to mentoring, educating and motivating leaders in the community. Through business networking, we share our skills and support for one another, regardless of ethnicity, financial means or economic status. FAMES, a 501(c)(3) local nonprofit organization, was created to promote and develop strong leadership.
In addition, FAMES provides not only business support to entrepreneurs and business owners, but also community support for various organizations by hosting fundraisers, collecting and making donations to groups including the Hawaii Red Cross chapter, National Kidney Foundation and Domestic Violence Shelter. We also partnered with the 2010 Census in the state of Hawaii. In May 2011, FAMES was one of the supporters of the Arthritis Walk, which included collecting money and participating in the walk.
Joni Redick-Yundt, CEO and founder of FAMES, is the pillar of unending energy and positivity for the organization. Joni has established herself as an entrepreneur, a community leader and author.
“Due to many of my contacts in the local business world contacting me with requests for guidance with a start-up business or entrepreneurial launch,” she explains, “I realized a great need within the community for mentoring new business owners and providing an arena for collaboration, support and leadership development.”
FAMES is comprised of all volunteers working together to pursue its mission.
We meet the first Wednesday of each month at Dave & Buster’s Ward Entertainment Center showroom. Meetings are open to the public and give everybody the opportunity to meet members of FAMES. FAMES also invites speakers from businesses and the community to share their expertise, and gives attendees the opportunity to network and share information about their businesses.
FAMES also hosts two larger events during the year. In the summer, we host an annual workshop with keynote speakers from the Mainland and Hawaii to provide guidance and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Also, later in the year, FAMES hosts its annual fundraiser gala with silent and live auctions and entertainment, to help defray the costs of the annual workshop and offer financial support to other nonprofit organizations.
For more information, visit fameshawaii.com.
Wednesday - January 11, 2012 Share
By Kata Issari, Hawaii Regional Director, Joyful Heart Foundation
When Mariska Hargitay began playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit more than a decade ago, the content of the scripts opened her eyes to the epidemic of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
But what really opened her eyes and subsequently, her heart were the thousands of letters she received from survivors disclosing their stories of abuse. The letters came from across the United States, all of them displaying pain and isolation but also courage.
These stories inspired Mariska to develop the concept for the Joyful Heart Foundation while in Hawaii. It was here in the Islands that she decided to create a space for survivors to heal in a holistic way, and in so doing, to reclaim their lives.
Today the Joyful Heart Foundation works both locally and nationally to fulfill our mission to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.
Joyful Heart works to foster a community that addresses sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse because these issues deeply affect us all. In Hawaii, one in seven women is raped and up to 50,000 women a year experience domestic violence. In 2010 alone, Hawaii’s Child Welfare Services received 4,199 reports of child abuse.
Our goal is to engage the wider community to do something about these alarming statistics. To date, we have invested more than $3 million in our Hawaii programs, directly serving more than 3,000 individuals. And our work continues to grow through new efforts such as our partnership with the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund on the One Strong ‘Ohana campaign. This campaign shows that we can all play a part in preventing child abuse. Recent studies have shown that parents with a strong support network are less likely to abuse and neglect their children. And we can all reach out to parents we know, even in simple ways, to strengthen our connections and help prevent child abuse.
Stamping Out Violence
Wednesday - January 04, 2012 Share
By Steve McLaughlin, Instructor, Kupale Domestic Safety & Assault Prevention Program for Women and Children
The Kupale Domestic Safety & Assault Prevention Program for Women and Children is a modern and updated course presented and supported by Hawaii Zenyo Jujutsu Kai. Our original program began here in Hawaii in 1926 and was taught by the famous martial artist and massage therapist, professor. H.S. Okazaki. He also wrote one of the first books on women’s self-defense in the United States in 1929.
Our program focuses on teaching mothers and daughters how to recognize and deal with violence before it starts and what to do to escape from it. The knowledge you gain in this course is invaluable, even if you were only able to sit and watch.
The complete course is only four hours long, usually taught on the third Sunday afternoon of each month. We cover more than 30 subjects in the training. It is not necessary to be in shape for our course.
You will learn how to escape from nearly any assault situation.
Topics include how to deal with a dog attack, how to change a flat tire (in 30 seconds!), how to make a police report and work with a police sketch artist, and the laws concerning assault. The course also includes information about daterape drugs, counseling services advice, college campus safety, first aid, methods of surviving an assault after the fact and much more. This is one of the most complete course in self-defense and assault prevention taught anywhere in the world.
More than 12,000 women and children in Hawaii have taken this highly successful course. Our participants come from hospital staffs, banks, women’s business groups, military wives clubs, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Scouts, churches, women security guard groups, real estate sales staffs and social workers. We also have taught our program to women and children in wheelchairs and for state programs for the blind.
Classes are held at the Daijingu Shinto Temple of Hawaii in Nu’uanu. To register, visit kupale.org. For more information, call 595-7175.
Guiding Victims To Safety
Wednesday - December 28, 2011 Share
By Leslie Cintron,
Representative, Ala Kuola
Founded in 2006, the mission of the Hawaii Family Law Clinic, doing business as Ala Kuola, is to assist victims of domestic violence to attain safety, peace and healing.
Our services include assistance with filing a petition for temporary restraining orders (TRO), court assistants who act as neutral parties to facilitate discussions between the petitioner and the respondent, and outreach services on Oahu. Families and individuals are referred to additional services such as counseling, shelter, legal services and advocacy.
To obtain a TRO, at least one of the following relationships between petitioner and respondent must apply: spouses, former spouses, persons who are or were formerly dating, persons who have a child in common, persons related by blood, and persons jointly residing or formerly resided in the same dwelling. Parents may also file on behalf of their children, and family or household members may file on behalf of an incapacitated person.
In 2010 Ala Kuola assisted with approximately 36 percent of all cases docketed on Oahu, and in 2011,Ala Kuola assisted with 36 percent of all cases filed in Honolulu.
Mr. and Mrs. Q, who are both in their late 70s, have a middle-aged son who is a substance abuser. When their son got violent toward them, they turned to Ala Kuola to file a TRO in order to protect themselves.
Ms. M, aged 23, was experiencing a difficult pregnancy and about to give birth. Even from the hospital, she was being threatened by her boyfriend. Ala Kuola provided outreach services to her at the hospital and assisted her with the filing of the TRO.
Providing Slippers, Toys And More
Wednesday - December 21, 2011 Share
By Lynn Vasquez, president and co-founder,
The Slippah Foundation
Six years ago on an online bulletin board, the question “What do you want for Christmas?” was asked. I answered, “I wish for all the children of Mayor Wright Housing to have a pair of rubber slippers so they won’t have to go barefoot.”
Mayor Wright Housing is a public housing facility located in Honolulu. One day, I saw several boys playing football barefoot and promised myself I would get them footwear.
Fellow online members asked how they could help, and soon the simple request snowballed into “The Slippah Project,” and later The Slippah Foundation.
We started at Mayor Wright Housing, and our recipients grew to include other public housing and homeless shelters on the Leeward Coast and throughout the entire island. We even sent slippers to Kauai, Maui and the Big Island.
In addition to providing children with slippers, we also give them toys, and provide new and used clothes and canned goods to people of all ages.
In order to help provide those in need with slippers and other goods this holiday season, we need your help. We accept donations of all of the items listed above, as well as monetary donations and of course we accept slippers.
We don’t receive any grants. Our donations are from everyday folks. Scott Hawaii is our sponsor.
The Slippah Foundation became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2009. The economy is rough right now, but we do what we can. Our mission is simple to seek and help those who are in need. The Slippah Foundation wants to continue to spread joy to families in need a goal that you can help us achieve.
Tonight (Dec. 21), our annual Mayor Wright Housing Christmas Celebration starts at 6 p.m. We also will be making donations on the Leeward Coast Dec. 24.
To make an online donation or for more information on ways to donate or participate in the season of good will, visit slippah.org or call Lynn at 847-2221.
Impacting Learning Through Service
Wednesday - December 14, 2011 Share
By Merle Okino O’Neill,
Executive Director, Youth Service Hawaii
Most of you have probably participated in some type of community service. But how many of you know how service learning can improve student achievement and engagement, while helping youths develop life skills? Can running a food drive, cleaning the beach or bringing food to homebound elderly impact academic learning?
That is the goal of Youth Service Hawaii (YSH). YSH works with public and private teachers statewide to make service a part of academic learning. Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. Through service learning, Hawaii’s youths use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. They learn the practical applications of their studies, while becoming contributing citizens through the service they perform.
While service learning is similar to community service, it aims to be a more in-depth educational experience. Students have cleaned beaches and provided valuable service as volunteers. However, if students studying science collect beach trash, analyze the findings to determine the possible sources of pollution and share the results with local residents, they are engaging in service learning. Additionally, students are learning about water quality and developing an understanding of pollution issues and practicing communications skills. These activities become transformative for students and community.
YSH includes a variety of service learning projects. For example, Waianae Elementary students observed an increase in obesity among fellow students and are now organizing a community food, health and fitness education fair. Ewa Makai Middle students are learning about ecosystems and building portable growing gardens, which will be donated to homeless shelters. Waipahu High students are researching health and disease statistics, and are organizing community health fairs for high-risk and underserved neighborhoods.
Since 1996, YSH has been engaging youths as active, compassionate citizens through service and learning. YSH provides teachers and students with training, grants and curriculum ideas and samples, and brings together service learning practitioners in the community. To see the students in action, join us March 31, 2012, at the Service Learning Showcase at Windward Mall.
For more information, visit youthservicehawaii.org.
Aloha Chapter Is Here To Help
Wednesday - December 07, 2011 Share
By Daniel Ward, MPA, PR & Volunteer
Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association
The holidays are a season when families gather to spend quality time with each other. It is also a time that can raise serious questions about the cognitive health of aging family members. In Hawaii, there are an estimated 31,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Although caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a costly and difficult process, the Alzheimer’s Association, Aloha Chapter offers numerous support services at no cost to family caregivers. Chapter services include caregiver training, educational workshops, care consultations, support groups, general information and referral, online resources and the MedicAlert+Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program.
Tim Smith, a caregiver for more than 10 years, is thankful for the help the Alzheimer’s Association has provided his family. After Tim’s wife Melinda was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, “she became increasingly forgetful and socially withdrawn,” Tim recalls. “It got to the point where we would stay in our house for days at a time.”
Five years following Melinda’s diagnosis, she became verbally abusive and easily agitated toward her husband. “This was a lonely and confusing period in my life because I felt lost and had no idea where to turn for help,” recalls Tim. “I love my wife and wanted to help her. I just didn’t know how.”
After months of searching, one of Tim’s co-workers referred him to the Alzheimer’s Association, where he was able to attend free workshops, receive care consultations and participate in support groups. “Prior to receiving all of these services, I had no idea the Aloha Chapter provided so many great resources for family caregivers,” says Tim. “I highly recommend the support groups because you receive great advice from people familiar with the disease.”
The Alzheimer’s Association, Aloha Chapter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donorsupported organization. Programs and services are made possible through contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and from the Walk to End Alzheimer’s each year. For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association’s support services, events, volunteer opportunities, or to make a donation, please visit alz.org/hawaii or call our 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900 toll-free statewide.
Student Actors Learn, Have Fun
Wednesday - November 30, 2011 Share
By MJ Matsushita,
Technical Director, KHSPAC
Drugs, gangs, homelessness and suicide: These are a few of the issues some of our students have to deal with on a day-today basis. Kaimuki High School Performing Arts Center (KHSPAC) is one place many of our troubled kids can come for a safe haven. KHSPAC is a place where they can express themselves. Most importantly, they learn that family means having a support system there when they need someone to talk to, or just get a hug.
There are many situations in which students choose to be involved with the group as a way to gain support in the face of difficult times at home or in relationships. And students often come here instead of making dangerous or destructive choices.
We also offer all students a place to learn skills they can take into any career. Many have continued on to film, Broadway, regional theatre, television, fashion design and other performing arts careers. Others have gone on to become entrepreneurs, lawyers and teachers.
KHSPAC has been working with public school students from all over the island for 25 years, using theatre as a vehicle for learning life skills. Every year we do a play for thousands of elementary school children, and a musical with a cast of students from all grade levels. These productions, along with classes at the high school, are a part of the Learning Center for Performing Arts. Over the years, however, our funds have been threatened and reduced.
How can people help us to continue this work? Come to see our shows. To hear a full house applauding them is the best prize the community can give these kids. Our next show is Grease, which opens Feb. 17 and plays for three weekends until March 4. And we currently are trying to match a grant from the Hawaii Alliance for Arts Education. Every dollar will help. Donations can be sent to Kaimuki High School, Attn.: MJ Matsushita, 2705 Kaimuki Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816. Make checks out to KHSPAC. Donations are tax-deductible, and a thank-you letter will be sent for tax purposes.
Helping Oahu’s Public Schools
Wednesday - November 23, 2011 Share
By Kathie Wells, Founder
Community Helping Schools
Did you know that many of Hawaii’s public school teachers have to use money out of their own pockets to buy school supplies for their classrooms and students? This includes basic supplies such as dry erase markers, notebooks and pencil sharpeners. With programs getting cut and budgets limited, Hawaii’s public schools do not have the extra funds to provide their classrooms with the necessary supplies needed to teach.
This need is why Community Helping Schools was started. Since 2000, we have been dedicated to helping Hawaii’s public schools obtain the supplies and resources needed to enrich the education of our keiki. We serve as a catalyst and conduit to Oahu public schools to match classroom resource needs with community donors.
Through our organization, it is easy for people to help teachers and students with supply needs. Interested donors go to the Community Helping Schools website and browse the wish list by school, teacher or items needed. When a donor has identified a wish they’d like to fulfill, they simply click the “donate now” button and email us! We then work with the donor to facilitate delivery of the donation to the designated teacher.
We are truly a grassroots, volunteerdriven organization. I am sincerely humbled and always amazed by the unwavering generosity of our volunteers, local businesses and community. It is because of their continuous support that we’ve been able to provide more than $500,000 worth of supplies and resources to Oahu’s public schools. Through the years, we’ve been able to provide classrooms with a myriad of supplies and resources such as paint, notebook paper, pens and office furniture. Recently, Pohakea Elementary School in Ewa Beach received a donation of an organ and was able to start a music program at their school.
A Place For Youths To Turn
Wednesday - November 16, 2011 Share
By Punky Pletan-Cross,
CEO, Hale Kipa Inc.
Three years ago, following an expansion to their Waipahu home, Tereza and George Miranda became foster parents to a Hawaii child in need. They have since assisted nearly a dozen youths in Hale Kipa’s foster care program, ranging from 13 to 17 years old.
Hale Kipa is a private nonprofit organization founded by concerned community members in 1970 to better the lives of at-risk children and youths in Hawaii through shelter, support, commitment and advocacy.
Tereza, 48, a certified nursing assistant, and George, 47, a carpenter, wrote to Hale Kipa following a recommendation from a friend to see how they could help.
“I wanted to share our home with these children,” says Tereza, who was recently honored with a Service Award at Hale Kipa’s annual meeting that recognized foster families. “They need a home, and they need our love, care and patience. It is so rewarding.”
The Mirandas, who are also parents of four biological children ages 18 to 27, are among a dedicated group of community members and employees involved with Hale Kipa who help Hawaii’s at-risk youths become productive members of the community.
In addition to our foster care program, Hale Kipa provides prevention and intervention services, shelter and residential homes and outreach that have collectively served more than 40,000 youths many of whom are homeless or runaways, status offenders, pregnant teens and those who otherwise have nowhere else to turn. Our services are provided at no cost, making them entirely dependent on public and private support.
This is a very trying time for all of us, and for those who are typically in need of Hale Kipa’s services, it can be particularly so. It is because of wonderful foster parents like the Mirandas that Hale Kipa can continue to serve.
Green Learning And Living
Wednesday - November 09, 2011 Share
By Betty Gearen,
Director, The Green House
In the past 50 years, in our transition to urban life, we have given up our relationship to the land that feeds us, to the food we eat, and to the dirt under our feet.
In early 2004, facing this fact, The Green House Sustainable Learning Center was born. The center offers workshops for people of all ages covering topics including gardening, composting, making soap and natural cleaners, recycled art, cooking and renewable energy. The Green House mission is to re-educate children, adults, families and communities in the sustainable environmental practices that were once present in daily life, helping to create a fertile ground where the “seeds” of sustainability can grow. In the process, The Green House aims to recreate our sense of place and joy of community. Since our inception we have moved beyond the weekly workshops held at The Green House and now offer outreach programs in “greening” schools and an after-school environmental education program.
In 2008 we received a grant to take our Learning Environmental Awareness Program (LEAP) to middle and high schools throughout Honolulu, especially to those students at greatest risk. LEAP classes are designed to promote action on climate change and waste reduction, while fostering creativity and a sense of personal ability and responsibility. LEAP has provided environmental education to more than 1,000 students in 17 schools. Plus, we have trained, talented teachers in the mentor component of the program.
In a recent workshop, students made masks out of recycled materials. They were excited about the project since many of them would not have Halloween costumes. The students were very involved in drawing, cutting and decorating their masks. This project gave the students a sense of ownership of what they created and meant a lot to the children who would have been left out of celebrating Halloween otherwise. It is wonderful to see the creative ways they expressed themselves each mask was different and reflected the personality of the child.
Libraries Need Friends
Wednesday - November 02, 2011 Share
By Byrde Cestare, Executive Director,
Friends of the Library of Hawaii
Can you imagine a community without a library? Recognized by our founding fathers as an essential part of a democracy, public libraries today provide communities with free resources for entertainment, career development, skills training, database information and Internet connection. Friends of the Library of Hawaii (FLH), founded in 1879, promotes and supports Hawaii’s 50 public libraries. With more than 30 affiliates, we have a strong network of support and advocacy that work to maintain and improve library services.
Our signature fundraisers are the annual Book Sale and Links to Literacy. This year’s 18th annual Links to Literacy Golf Tournament, held Sept. 23 at Ko Olina Golf Club, included a banquet and silent auction at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa and netted $150,000. Businesses including Marriott Resorts Hawaii, Ko Olina Resort & Marina, HMS Host, Meadow Gold Dairies, Hansen Distribution Group, Armstrong Produce, DFS Hawaii, Roberts Hawaii and Toshiba Business Solutions support FLH because they recognize the important role that public libraries play in creating a vibrant, productive community. Over the years, the golf tournament has raised approximately $1.45 million.
Public libraries are experiencing even greater use during these difficult economic times. Providing increased access and service while suffering budget cuts is extremely challenging. FLH provides funding for items beyond the regular state budget, including programs that draw the community into the library. A record-setting 25,000 adults and children took part in the 2011 Summer Reading Program, with more than 285,000 books read.
Libraries continue to offer services even after regular business hours. With your Hawaii State Public Library card, you can access e-books, digital audio books and online databases. Want to learn a new language? Ten languages in a self-paced course are available in Powerspeak. All are free with your library card 24/7.
Helping Honolulu Families Thrive
Wednesday - October 26, 2011 Share
By Jean Evans, Executive Director,
For more than a century, Palama Settlement has been in the middle of urban Honolulu, where thousands of drivers on Vineyard and H1 pass by the historic white-column building and grounds daily. In 1900, when the Honolulu Fire Department set a fire in Chinatown to quell the outbreak of bubonic plague, the blaze grew out of control, leaving more than 4,000 residents homeless. Recognizing the need to assist the many sick and homeless as well new immigrants arriving in the Islands, Palama Settlement was established. Since then, Palama has developed many innovative programs and provides a safe, nurturing environment. Annually, more than 900 children, adults and families engage in educational, athletic, recreational, physical and cultural programs, services and activities to enhance their well-being.
In these challenging economic times, we have seen significant decreases in our sources of funding from grants, foundations, Aloha United Way, contracts and donations. At the same time, we are serving more families with fewer and fewer resources because the need is so great.
Our Lokahi Adopt A Family Program assisted a part-time maintenance worker to get back on her feet after losing both her husband and mother in the same year. Palama helped her with donations of household items, referrals, Food Pantry support, programs for her children and Palama-sponsored food bank distributions.
Palama’s many children’s activities include ceramics classes offered in partnership with the Hawaii Potters’ Guild. Community children are creating an ocean-themed ceramic mural to be hung permanently on an outside wall near the swimming pool. Neighborhood children, who don’t often get a chance to participate in art activities, love working with clay and are incredibly creative.
On Nov. 20 we are celebrating the centennial of our incorporation: Malama Palama: Festival of 100 Voices. It will be a day of free family-friendly events, entertainment and food booths. For a $5 ticket, you can enter our Malama Palama Store, which features hundreds of items at discounted retail prices.
For tickets or information, call 8483945 or visit palamasettlement.org.
One Type 1 is One Too Many
Wednesday - October 19, 2011 Share
By Gail Chew, Executive Director,
Founded in 1970 by parents whose children were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has been a global leader in advancing research toward a cure and ensuring better lives for people with the disease. The organization’s mission is to find a cure for the autoimmune disease, which strikes children and adults suddenly and lasts a lifetime. Three million Americans have type 1 diabetes; 40 children and 40 adults are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every day.
Globally, JDRF has funded $1.5 billion worth of diabetes research, which is more diabetes research than any other charitable organization. JDRF is dedicated to developing new and better treatments that improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes while we advance toward a cure.
Volunteers at 100 locations worldwide, including Hawaii, are the driving force behind the organization’s success. These volunteers help ensure the funding for scientific discoveries that can be translated into real solutions, such as therapies and devices that tangibly benefit people with diabetes.
Although people today with type 1 diabetes rely on insulin to manage the disease, insulin is not a cure, nor does it prevent the possibilities of the disease’s devastating effects, which can include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, amputation and pregnancy complications. An invaluable program is the JDRF and glucose meter company AccuChek’s Bag of Hope. The program delivers resources to families when a child is newly diagnosed. The resources include a book for understanding diabetes, JDRF’s stuffed bear Rufus, a glucose meter, children’s books on dealing with diabetes, informational DVDs and a calorie counter book. JDRF also coordinates visits to schools to assist teachers, staff and volunteers, and provides a support network and resources for children, young adults and families.
The Walk to Cure Diabetes will take place Saturday, Oct. 29, at Kapiolani Park and is an opportunity for families and the community to come together in support of our mission.
For more information on the Walk and JDRF, or to form a Walk team, sign up at jdrf.org or call 988-1000.
Creating Healthy Communities
Wednesday - October 12, 2011 Share
By Michael Broderick,
President and CEO, YMCA of Honolulu
Mention Hawaii and most people think of year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and a healthy environment not obesity. Yet, close to 27 percent of Hawaii’s children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. Overweight children are prone to health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and heart disease during their youth and as adults. And sadly, these children are more likely to become overweight adults unless they adopt and maintain healthier patterns of eating and exercise.
The YMCA is the nation’s leading nonprofit, serving 10,000-plus neighborhoods across the U.S. For 160 years, the Y has created healthier communities through promoting youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. A few years ago, the Y launched Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC), a nationwide initiative that provides communities with the strategies to create and maintain a healthier environment. Locally, we gathered top leaders from organizations such as HMSA, Kaiser, Kapiolani Community College, UH Medical School, Department of Education, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and Department of Health to improve Hawaii’s overall health. PHC achieves this goal by promoting policy and environmental changes to create sustainable opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.
To date, PHC has achieved noteworthy milestones:
* At YMCAs across Oahu and at other after-school facilities, teens are learning to make healthy dishes that are fast, easy and tasty. Parents report their children now take charge at the supermarket, purchasing healthy items to create meals they know how to cook.
* PHC Hawaii members have used their resources to promote the 5-2-1-0 campaign statewide. The campaign advocates eating five or more fruits and vegetables, dedicating two hours or less to screen time, doing one hour or more of physical activity and having no sugary beverages each day.
Other initiatives include working with developers to create healthy communities by incorporating playgrounds and gardens into design plans, and setting up wellness teams within schools to create and implement policies that will lead to a healthier environment. Tackling obesity is everyone’s responsibility. We can help Hawaii’s youths by making changes in our homes, communities, schools and workplaces. Children learn by example, and by leading the way we can ensure our children live healthier lives. For more information, visit ymcahonolulu.org.
Providing A Smiling Future
Wednesday - October 05, 2011 Share
By Dr. Cecile Sebastian,
Future Dentist Symposium
I founded the Future Dentist Symposium in 2009. I’m an implant and cosmetic dentist in downtown Honolulu.
Since 2010, the event has acquired cosponsorship from Patterson Dental, and has drawn a number of high school juniors and seniors from around the state.
The objective of this event is to give insight into dentistry and dental hygiene as a future career. The symposium is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the event runs until 11:30 a.m., at which time scholarship awards are presented. Speakers will include an oral surgeon, a periodontist, an orthodontist, a general dentist and a representative from the University of Hawaii Manoa School of Dental Hygiene. The symposium is coordinated not to interfere with PSAT, SAT and ACT testing dates, and is always scheduled in the fall of the new school year. Seating is limited so all students need to call in their pre-registration from now through Oct. 21.
Each guest speaker’s presentation includes information such as personal traits, hobbies and interests that led them to choose dentistry as an occupation; advice on applying for dental school; why they chose to go into their respective specialty field; joys of their field and specialty; challenges of their field and specialty, and community volunteerism.
Letters are sent out to all high school college and career counselors about the event as early as May the previous school year. We recommend students submit a 200-word essay on “Why I would like to be a dentist.” A panel of judges will review and choose the winners. The scholarship awards are first place $500, second place $300 and third place $200. Previous essay winners were from McKinley, Waialua, Roosevelt and Aiea high schools.
Protecting Land That Feeds Us
Wednesday - September 28, 2011 Share
By Dr. Kioni Dudley, President,
Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance
The developer calls the proposed development in West Oahu Ho’opili, “coming together.” Save Oahu Farmlands calls it Ho’o-pilikia, “deep trouble for all of us.”
Save Oahu Farmlands is an alliance of roughly 50 pro-farm, pro-environment and Hawaiian organizations, another 50 individual farmers and activists, and 1,200 members. All have joined together to “protect the land that feeds us.”
The group had its first official meeting Jan. 2010, with leaders of the Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, Hawaii Farmer’s Union, the Friends of Makakilo, Defend Oahu Coalition, Keep the Country Country, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Sustainable UH and the UH College of Tropical Agriculture along with farmers and activists.
While they have been involved in efforts to save farms in Waianae, Laie and Hawaii Kai, their foremost effort is saving our breadbasket, the precious farmland below the freeway between Waipahu and Kapolei 1,555 acres that developers want for the 12,000-home Ho’opili project. This farmland is among the very highest producing acreage in the world, if not the highest. Winter limits most places to just one crop a year, but Hawaii has yearround growth. On this island, the Waimanalo farms get only two crops a year because clouds and rain slow growth. Some places in the less rainy central region get three crops. But the sunny, low-lying, fertile land in the Leeward area gets four a year. Losing our best farmland would invite catastrophe. We have only one week’s store of food on island. Should we ever be cut off from supply lines, we could not survive.
Between now and next April, the Land Use Commission will hold hearings to decide the fate of the Ho’opili farmland. Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance is committed to rousting the public to action. Members are active writing articles and letters to the editor, appearing on ‘Olelo TV shows, filming commercials, producing their own TV program, going to farmers markets and other events with displays and petitions, and selling their T-shirts. They keep their 1,200 members up to date with regular emails and Facebook postings. They meet weekly and are planning larger activities.
For more information, visit StopHoopili.com, which is also a good place to volunteer or to donate. Or call me at 672-8888. Save Oahu Farmlands needs your help and welcomes your participation.
Good, Clean And Fair Food
Wednesday - September 21, 2011 Share
By Rike Weiss, Volunteer Coordinator,
Slow Food Oahu
The Slow Food (SF) movement started in Italy in the mid-‘80s and is spreading its message of good, clean and fair food through thousands of chapters worldwide.
“Good” in the context of our organization means delicious food from healthy plants and animals, “clean” means produced with a positive impact on the environment, and “fair” means reasonable compensation for the producers and farmers.
Slow Food Oahu (SFO), now in its seventh year, has adopted Ono & Pono as its local slogan. There are SF chapters on Maui, Hawaii Island and a culinary student chapter at Kapiolani Community College. We’re governed by a volunteer board and provide fun, educational experiences for members and the public via farm visits, food tastings, lectures and community workdays.
* Slow Food Oahu has nominated delegates to the bi-annual Terra Madre gathering in Italy, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe and brings together 200 producers who support biodiversity, sustainable fishing, breeding and agriculture. SFO support has made attendance possible for Hawaii taro and organic farmers, chefs and honey producers.
* We have partnered with Jack Johnson’s Kokua Foundation to lay the groundwork for healthier lunches in our public schools.
* We have participated in workdays on farms and ponds in Waiahole, Paepae o Heeia and Mohala Farms.
* We have donated to school gardens and farmers who suffered arson and vandalization.
* We educate through farm tours, fish auctions and food manufacturing, as well as through lectures on topics including land use and the history of chocolate.
* We purchase pasture-fed, antibioticfree beef through the Molokai Livestock Co-op in bulk (recommended by Chef Ed Kenney of town and downtown restaurants), and recently have added Kahuluu raised pork.
Sustainability, food security, decent wages, land-use planning, access to ag lands and water for our farmers, and a love of cooking, food traditions, eating and sharing great locally sourced food these are the aspects of the Slow Food mission that unite our membership.
For more information, visit slowfoodoahu.org.
Wednesday - September 14, 2011 Share
By Della Au Belatti, Board Member,
Friends of the Makiki Community Library
On any given Wednesday afternoon, in the heart of urban Honolulu, you can walk into Makiki District Park and find the “little library that could” doing what it does best: serving Makiki’s diverse community with welcoming volunteers, books leading to shores beyond Hawaii, programs promoting literacy and community, and a computer center buzzing with activity.
Born out of community activism in 1976, Makiki Community Library is the only community library operating within the Parks Department in the City and County of Honolulu. The library is staffed by enthusiastic volunteers and one parttime paid library manager, while Friends of the Makiki Community Library and its dedicated volunteer board of directors oversee the library’s operations and finances.
Collectively, more than 30 active volunteers log close to 4,000 hours each year to run free community programs, staff the library and maintain its modest two-story facility. The library boasts more than 800 card-carrying patrons, and visitors can stop by Wednesdays, 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.
To keep its doors open, the library depends solely on community donations. Last year, Friends held its first formal fundraising reception by putting on the A Taste for Books event in the parish hall at neighboring St. Clement’s Church, a community partner that has collaborated with the library in hosting festivals, conducting community cleanups, and starting up Makiki’s popular evening farmers market.
This year, Friends bring back A Taste for Books to encourage supporters to come out for a night of friendly conversation, good food, tasty drinks and most importantly community fellowship.
This year’s culinary event will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at St. Clement’s Church, located at 1515 Wilder Ave. Tickets cost $25 and can be picked up at the library or purchased this Thursday between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Makiki Farmers Market at St. Clement’s Church. Donations also can be mailed to the Friends of the Makiki Community Library at 1527 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu, HI, 96822.
Living United With Aloha
Wednesday - September 07, 2011 Share
By Kim Gennaula, President,
Aloha United Way
On any given night on Oahu, 4,200 people are homeless. More significantly, of those 4,200, more than half are families with children.
At this moment, 27 percent of Hawaii’s working families require some sort of subsidy just to survive some are working multiple jobs but are still not earning enough to make ends meet. One in four Hawaii families are three paychecks away from financial crisis. And 15 percent of Hawaii residents 18 years and older do not have a high school diploma.
There is so much need all around us and yet, thankfully, there also are many nonprofits working hard to give hope to people who would have nowhere else to turn.
That is why Aloha United Way exists. For more than 90 years, Aloha United Way has served as a fundraiser for local nonprofits. We mobilize the caring power of our community to make a difference in people’s lives.
Aloha United Way is the only agency doing grassroots fundraising for our greatest needs. And your donations are making a difference. Last year, you helped us touch more than 800,000 lives and support more than 300 local nonprofits, many of which would not be here without your contributions to Aloha United Way.
Right now, you can make a big difference. This month, about 1,200 Oahu companies kicked off Aloha United Way fundraising campaigns at their workplace. You can give easily through payroll deduction at work or by visiting auw.org.
If you are a loyal donor to Aloha United Way, thank you. We are truly grateful for your support. If you have not given in the past, could we encourage you to consider a gift this year of at least $10 a paycheck? It is a simple, painless way to truly make a big difference our community. Our promise to you is that we will work carefully with the nonprofits to be sure your hard-earned dollar is well invested to have the greatest impact. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing you helped provide food, shelter, education, counseling, elderly care and so much more to your friends and neighbors.
Aloha United Way has been serving Hawaii’s people since 1919. As we near 100 years of continuing that mission, please join us in living united with aloha by making a donation. For more information, go to auw.org.
Caring For Our Kupuna
Wednesday - August 31, 2011 Share
By Lyn Moku, Director,
Lanakila Meals on Wheels
My passion is to bring an end to senior hunger and empower aging at home in Hawaii. This is one of the most significant public challenges of our time, yet I believe we can make this happen. That’s why I joined Lanakila Meals on Wheels this year.
A program of Lanakila Pacific, Lanakila Meals on Wheels began in 1971 as a lunch wagon serving hot meals to seniors in need. Forty years later, Lanakila Meals on Wheels has expanded to be the largest and only islandwide meal provider for seniors. Seniors such as Meals on Wheels recipient Edna Franklin, a 91yearold retired teacher who spent her life caring for others but can no longer get out on her own.
Hundreds of caring volunteers help us serve more than 250,000 meals each year on more than 90 delivery routes and at 17 Kupuna Wellness Centers.
Yet 60,000 Hawaii seniors still face hunger. Currently, Hawaii’s poverty rate is the highest it has been in 12 years and has one of the fastest growing senior populations in the nation. Community support is needed to bring meals to more of our elderly neighbors.
We invite you to help by joining us for Lanakila Meals on Wheels’ signature fundraiser. Back for its third year, The Good Table is a unique synchronized dining event presented by HGEA and Island Insurance Companies. It will take place Thursday, Oct. 6, at 6 p.m. at more than 50 of Oahu’s most popular dining establishments. Select restaurants ranging from casual eateries to fine dining establishments will serve a special feast for prepurchased tables at their restaurants. Participating restaurants include Alan Wong’s, Café Laufer, California Pizza Kitchen and Zippy’s. Proceeds from the purchased tables directly support Lanakila Wheels on Meals to provide meals and support for Hawaii’s elderly in need.
New this year, Lanakila Kitchen will offer Gourmet Picnic Table Packages including everything from the tablecloth to a keepsake picnic basket.
Proceeds from prepurchased tables, sponsorships and donations in 2010 provided more than 20,000 meals to seniors.
Please join us for The Good Table and help turn one great meal into many for Hawaii’s kupuna. To purchase a table, volunteer or get involved, visit thegoodtable.org or call 5310555.
Help For People With COPD
Wednesday - August 24, 2011 Share
By Valerie Chang, Executive Director,
Hawaii COPD Coalition
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma in adults. More than 30,000 adults in Hawaii have been diagnosed with this lung disease, and another 30,000 are undiagnosed. It costs more than $55 million per year in Hawaii for COPD hospitalizations. It is the third leading cause of death and second leading cause of disability in the U.S. About nine in 10 people with COPD got it from smoking cigarettes. The others contracted it from toxic work environments or genetic causes.
The Hawaii COPD Coalition was formed in 2007 as a non-profit corporation to provide services and support for people who are affected by COPD. That year, the coalition launched Project SUCCESS (Spirometry-Urged Cessation through Counseling Education and Sustained Support), funded by the Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Services include clinics throughout the state with free blood pressure, breathing tests, counseling and smoking cessation information, monthly patient and caregiver support groups, an annual COPD Education Day, professional development and continuing education for health care providers, and presentations at international conferences.
Clinics have been held on Maui, Kauai, the Big Island and in many neighborhoods throughout Oahu. During the next 12 months, we will add clinics on Molokai and Lanai thanks to a partnership with the Ohana Health Plan and WE: a hui for health with Project Vision Hawaii, community partners including the Lions Clubs, community health centers, Ke Ola Mamo and a grant from Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. In 2011, twice as many clinics will be held as in prior years (from 20 to 40). Services and materials are provided to dozens of people at each clinic.
Wednesday - August 17, 2011 Share
By Marsha Bolson, Board Member,
Domestic Violence Action Center
For survivors of domestic violence, the first step on the path to safety is often the most difficult. In our 21 years at the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC), we’ve supported numerous people of different races, socio-economic backgrounds and genders through this challenging process. Our work begins with the very first phone call and continues until the final appearance in court. Leaving a relationship safely involves many steps and a great deal of community support. There continues to be a need for new partners and new strategies to disseminate information about domestic violence.
In a report recently released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), recommendations were made to improve preventive health services. One vital service focuses on the importance of screening and counseling in health care settings to detect and prevent domestic violence. IOM’s recommendation underscores the need to view domestic violence as a women’s health issue one that must be addressed comprehensively.
With support from the Office on Women’s Health, we formed the Consortium for Health Safety and Support, an effort to strengthen community-driven solutions to the problem of domestic violence. The work is taking place on the Leeward coast with Filipino and Hawaiian communities.
Hawaii’s health care industry also has begun focusing greater attention on the issue of domestic violence as a health concern for its patients. DVAC is working with the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to assist Kaiser Permanente in the implementation of a program modeled after the Family Violence Prevention Program of Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The work under development will involve the entire Kaiser Permanente system in Hawaii. The Queen’s Medical Center also is continuing, as well, to explore innovative ways to bring the issue into focus for its staff, programs and departments.
Collaborations like these will make all the difference to survivors and sustain DVAC’s work in bringing peace to Island families. To learn more about DVAC’s services and programs, please call 5313771 or visit stoptheviolence.org.
Preparing For College, Careers
Wednesday - August 10, 2011 Share
By Joy Mahiko,
Program Instructor, Ready Set Grow
Although more people are going to college than ever before, many are still unable to earn a college degree. In 2011, Hawaii again was recognized as one of the most expensive states to live in. In order to compete in today’s global economy, it is evident that young people must get an education beyond high school.
Ready Set Grow Hawaii (RSG) is a free college and career readiness program that aims to help people gain entrance and complete a degree through the community college system and/or achieve a livable wage in Hawaii.
RSG understands that students struggle with balancing various responsibilities, and has adopted a supportive model that includes professional tutoring and advising.
Through the use of technology, students sharpen their math, reading and writing skills for college or a career while engaging in a highly interactive student-centered environment. Instruction includes project-based activities involving problem-solving, critical thinking and collaborating as a team.
Through these efforts, RSG is confident the number of students completing the community college system and/or earning a livable wage will increase dramatically.
Current RSG student Joseph O’Malley says that the program was the best he had ever been through: “It has shown me where I left off from high school and what academic skills I need to work on.”
Cindy Ke of Kaneohe says instructors have given her individualized attention. “I love it!” she says. “It has helped me a lot ... It has even helped me socially ... I feel more confident. I feel more positive.”
There is definitely a movement under way in Ready Set Grow Hawaii to help students recognize their strengths and realize their full potential in becoming successful individuals on their path toward college and/or a career.
RSG is now accepting applications for the free eight-week program. In addition to the Windward Community College campus, Leeward Community College will offer classes starting Aug. 29. For more information on how to enroll, call the main office at 235-7381.
Open house will be held Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Leeward Community College in the student lounge.
For more information and an application, visit readysetgrowhawaii.com.
Leveling The Playing Field
Wednesday - August 03, 2011 Share
By Mark Conching,
Consultant, Ohana Komputer
Using the computer for communication and productivity is essential in today’s workplace and educational system. While it seems commonplace, many of our keiki and kupuna are without a computer at home and lack the opportunity to learn basic computer skills.
Since 2000, ‘Ohana Komputer has been a leader in bringing computer literacy skills to disadvantaged children and adults throughout Hawaii. The use of a unique thematic curriculum makes working with computers fun and gives students practical knowledge in desktop publishing, spreadsheets, word processing, database management and multimedia skills. Our teachers are highly skilled and passionate, and weekly training ensures their expertise is up-to-date.
Classes are taught at community centers and in after-school and summer school programs at public and private schools. Using laptops makes our computer lab mobile and takes our classes where they’re needed most.
Besides teaching computer literacy, ‘Ohana Komputer has been instrumental in establishing Community Technology Centers at Palama Settlement, Papakolea Community Center, Weinberg Community Center in Chinatown, Boys and Girls Club of Maui and Makiki Community Library. These centers not only give us a place to teach, but provide much-needed computer access in disadvantaged communities.
Peter Clark is one of many who have benefited from our classes. In a recent email, Mr. Clark states, “Just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying the class and how much I’m LEARNING. I needed to learn more about computers, but couldn’t afford to pay for courses. Voila! Makiki Library and ‘Ohana Komputer to my rescue! I’m VERY grateful to ‘Ohana Komputer for providing these courses, and I’ll continue to learn from Ali, Jill, and now marvelous Michelle. They make learning about computers FUN. Thank you, thank you.”
Leveling the technological playing field gives our students the skills necessary for success in school and the workplace. To continue our mission, we need your help. With grants considerably lower, your donations are more important than ever. We’re also seeking motivated individuals to serve on our board. To contribute, please call executive director Gigi Davidson at 523-8191 or visit ohanakomputer.org.
Providing A Voice
Wednesday - July 27, 2011 Share
By Nygel Martin and Rhibecca Glanstein,
Walk Now Chairs, Autism Speaks
When our son Kaedin was diagnosed with autism, we didn’t know where to turn for answers to our many questions. Feeling lost and confused, we struggled to do what we thought was best for him. It wasn’t until two years later that we heard about an event called Walk Now for Autism Speaks. After learning about the organization and participating in the walk, we found a multitude of resources that we wish had been available when Kaedin first exhibited symptoms.
Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception five years ago, Autism Speaks has committed more than $131 million to treatment and prevention research, awareness initiatives and advocacy efforts. Autism Speaks also supports the Autism Treatment Network, Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Awareness initiatives include establishing the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government’s response to autism and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments.
Our fundraising and awareness event Walk Now for Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest grassroots autism walk program. The Hawaii walk event was held June 11 at Magic Island, adding to 85 other walks across the U.S. and Canada this year. The event provided a safe and fun environment for friends and families who are affected by autism. The day included a 5K walk, entertainment, and a Community Resource Fair with educational sources and child-friendly activities. While donations were encouraged, the walk was free, allowing full access to the events and service providers.
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder: It affects one in 110 children born today; more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined; a new case of autism is diagnosed nearly every 20 minutes in the U.S. Yet autism receives less funding for research than other less prevalent childhood disorders.
The mission of Autism Speaks is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders. It is because of the support we have received and our mission of making the world a better place for those dealing with autism that we are dedicated to driving awareness and fighting for a cure with Autism Speaks.
To learn more, visit autismspeaks.org.
Promoting Healthy Food Systems
Wednesday - July 20, 2011 Share
By Joy Barua, Director, Community
Benefit Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Since our founding more than 50 years ago, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has been actively involved in our local communities. Through our Community Benefit program, we are working with community partners to improve the health of Hawaii and its people.
As part of this mission, Kaiser Permanente encourages healthy eating and supporting local farmers. As we like to say, “Locally ono, health pono” by eating local we promote a robust food commerce and healthier communities.
At a time when Hawaii imports approximately 85 percent of its food, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is committed more than ever toward improving our islands’ self-sufficient food systems and supporting local agriculture.
Because we strongly believe that what we eat shapes our health, we have supported several initiatives to promote nutritious eating habits and empower communities to make better food choices, including:
Kanu Hawaii’s “Eat Local Challenge” provides information on where residents can find affordable and healthy local food and produce. More than 50 businesses and 13,000 online followers have committed to the challenge.
Hawaii’s first Food Policy Council in partnership with the state of Hawaii, Office of Community Services, promotes nutritious diets and sustainable food systems through program development, research and advocacy.
Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s Aina in Schools program works with 10 Oahu schools on environmental stewardship, childhood obesity prevention and efforts to link Hawaii’s farmers to institutional markets.
Food nourishes and sustains us, brings people together, creates opportunities to learn about cultures, determines our health and so much more.
Making healthy food affordable and accessible should be part of any healthy food commerce and advocacy. Let’s all get involved, make a commitment to eat well and lead healthier lifestyles.
For more information on Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefits program and how you can support nutritious, sustainable agriculture in Hawaii, call 432-5673 or visit kp.org.
Giving Students A Solid Start
Wednesday - July 13, 2011 Share
By Jan M. Harada, President & CEO of
Helping Hands Hawaii
“To strengthen our community by enhancing the quality of people’s lives” is the mission of Helping Hands Hawaii. With help from our staff, volunteers and community partners, we have fulfilled this mission since 1974.
Our annual Ready to Learn (R2L) school supply program is just one example of how we fulfill our mission every day. Each summer, R2L founded by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and his late wife Maggie in 1999 provides more than 12,000 students statewide with basic tools they need to start school. R2L is based upon the simple concept that children who do not have school supplies are at an immediate disadvantage and will often fall behind early on. Statistics have shown that those who start off their early school years on the wrong foot experience a ripple effect lasting long into their academic lives and beyond.
Throughout July, Central Pacific Bank (CPB) has teamed up with HHH to accept school supplies or monetary donations at all CPB locations statewide for R2L. For a list of locations, visit centralpacificbank.com. Even a small donation has a huge impact. For example, just $8 provides basic supplies for one child to go back to school because R2L purchases new supplies at a discounted wholesale cost. The same set of supplies would cost a parent more than $30 from the store.
In addition to support from CPB, R2L is also grateful for support from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, KITV4 and other donors. It is because of strong support from our community that HHH assists more than 37,000 individuals each year through our various programs. In addition to R2L, our agency provides emergency financial and material help, behavioral health case management and interpreter services.
To find out more information about HHH and R2L, please call us at 5367234 or visit our website at helpinghandshawaii.org.
Building Homes For Hawaii
Wednesday - July 06, 2011 Share
By Genie Brown
Executive Director, Honolulu Habitat for Humanity
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit volunteer organization that builds homes with hardworking families in need. Founded in 1988, we have built 65 homes on Oahu providing more than 350 people the opportunity of homeownership. With the generous support of donors and volunteers, Honolulu Habitat’s mission is to eliminate poverty housing on Oahu by building simple, decent homes.
Honolulu Habitat is an affordable homeownership program serving Oahu families earning 30-60 percent of the area median income. For example, a family of four earning less than $59,580 may not qualify for a traditional mortgage, but may be eligible for a Habitat home. Honolulu Habitat provides a hand up, not a handout. Our partner families are selected through an application process and qualify based on their need for improved living conditions, an ability to pay for their home and a willingness to partner. Each family is required to complete “sweat equity” hours in our office or on another Habitat home before they can even begin construction on their home. Hundreds of volunteers skilled and unskilled donate their time to construct homes, working alongside the partner families. Homes are sold to families through a no-interest, 20-year mortgage.
Honolulu Habitat’s challenges include the scarcity of land, identifying the families that need our assistance and the constant need for construction funds. In support of our two newest projects, Habitat is hosting our biggest fundraiser of the year, Build-A-Thon, Aug. 11-13 in Waimanalo and in Papakolea. Individuals and team volunteers can participate in a four-hour shift on one of these workdays and work alongside our newest partner families. Each participant is asked to collect a minimum of $250 in pledges, which will help fund our building efforts throughout the year. Company and team sponsorships are available.
For more information about Build-AThon, to learn more about becoming a partner family, or to become a Habitat volunteer, visit our website at honoluluhabitat.org or call our office at 5387070.
Changing Lives Through Music
Wednesday - June 29, 2011 Share
By Mark Conching, Owner/ Marketing Consultant of MC Consulting
Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus
Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus is celebrating 50 years of performing the very best choral music. Founded in 1961 to provide singers for Hawaii Opera Theatre, HYOC now flourishes under Nola Nahulu, its executive and artistic director since 1986. Its ensembles perform throughout the state, host four choral festivals with up to 1,000 singers annually and administer outreach music education programs. Its DOE initiative project works with five to six schools, 12 to 16 teachers and more than 500 public school students each year. HYOC participants perform internationally, traveling to places including Rome, Japan, Wales, Beijing and Austria and at numerous festivals across the U.S.
Its first CD, Na Leo Hone, earned a Na Hoku Hanohano Award.
It is the mission of HYOC to nurture, foster and develop young people through the medium of choral music. It currently serves more than 200 singers from ages 5 to 18, from 45 public and 25 private, charter and home schools.
More importantly, HYOC strives to make a positive impact in the lives of people they touch, be it a student, a parent or an audience member.
“How does one describe,” says director Nola Nahulu, “the effects of singing in a community, the strengthening of one’s being by sharing of yourself, the sense of belonging, the development of the whole spirit, the confidence to work hard together to achieve excellence? Okagesama de: We are who we are because of you.”
Tuition and performance fees cover just 40 percent of HYOC’s annual budget. The rest comes from fundraising and supporters like you in the community. To make a contribution and for more information, please call general manager Malia Ka’ai-Barrett at 521-2982 or visit hyoc.org.
Mahina O’Neill, HYOC alumna and current parent, puts it: “I was so excited to walk my two stepdaughters to their first rehearsal, all the while having flashbacks of my mother doing the very same thing for me. This year my 5-year-old daughter began her HYOC journey and I’ve come full circle. I am no longer a performer; I am a supporter. I am no longer a participant; I am a witness. Mahalo for providing generations with a safe and nurturing place to grow.”
Education Takes The Stagev
Wednesday - June 22, 2011 Share
By Natalie McKinney, President, Board of Directors
‘Ohi’a Productions was founded in 1995 by Kaneohe artist Michael Furuya and his cousin, the late playwright Lisa Matsumoto, to provide creative, educational and inspiring theatrical experiences to children and families of Hawaii.
Our Educational Touring Program sends small troupes of actors to preschools, elementary schools and public and private events to perform musicals that promote science, literacy, environmental awareness, education and preservation. Since the start of the program, more than 230,000 students statewide have seen these shows. Currently on tour is Fun With Fables, a performance that brings Aesop’s fables to life through song, humor and an array of colorful and comical characters.
This fall we will debut Superhero Smarts, which was commissioned by Referentia and dedicated to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. This musical adventure explores science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and knowledge-building skills that will stimulate thinking and creativity while empowering students to discover their own STEM superhero within.
Our ‘Ohana Program was created to share the joys of theater with our families and community by providing uplifting and memorable experiences for our audiences. This summer’s Ohana Program performance is Lisa Matsumoto’s Once Upon One Noddah Time with music and lyrics by Roslyn Catracchia. It is a co-presentation of ‘Ohi’a Productions and University of Hawaii Presents, and is directed by Tamara Montgomery and Patrick Fujioka. Once Upon One Noddah Time is a delightful adaptation of the traditional fairy tales we all know and love, turning them into a comedic local fantasy full of memorable songs and colorful characters. Meet a menagerie of delightful local-style fairy tale characters as they wander their way through a fun and crazy adventure! The play will appear on stage at Kennedy Theatre July 8-24.
For information on booking Fun With Fables or Superhero Smarts for your school or purchasing tickets for Once Upon One Noddah Time, visit ohia.org or call 943-0456.
Preserving Culture With Our Keiki
Wednesday - June 15, 2011 Share
By Lenny Yajima Andrew, President
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
Kodomo no tame ni (For the sake of the children) is a simple phrase that reminds our dedicated staff and volunteers every day about the importance of carrying out the mission of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.
For the past 24 years, the center has been a driving force in the community, working to perpetuate and preserve the evolving Japanese American experience for all of Hawaii’s children.
In keeping with this commitment, the center has enhanced its educational programs. This past school year, we serviced and helped educate more than 3,100 students on Oahu through hands-on field trips, Discovery Box presentations and a cultural day camp for kids.
Of that number, 1,600 students from 19 public schools were brought to the center on a sponsored field trip at no cost to the students. The center waived all field trip fees, and with the help of a generous grant, bus transportation also was provided.
Some teachers mentioned that this was the first time there was 100 percent participation on a field trip. It is comments such as this that make our mission so important.
But we can’t do it alone. On Saturday, July 23, at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, we will honor a Japanese national treasure and an individual who also understands the importance of educating our children.
Dr. Genshitsu Sen, a 15th generation grand tea master from Japan’s Urasenke Tea School, will be recognized at our annual gala for his life’s work to promote peacefulness through a bowl of tea. This fundraising dinner is vital to all of the center’s services, including our educational programs.
For more information on the fundraising event or how you can help us educate more of Hawaii’s children, please visit jcch.com or call us at 945-7633.
Sharing Laughter, Love And Hope Through Ukulele
Wednesday - June 08, 2011 Share
By Roy Sakuma, President, Board of Directors
Ukulele Festival Hawaii
I’m not proud of it, but I was a troubled teen and was kicked out of high school. Aimlessly drifting, one day I heard the song Sushi performed by Herb “Ohta-San” Ohta on the radio. Something clicked inside. I sought out the ukulele master Ohta-San to teach me to play the ukulele and put my heart and soul into practicing eight to 10 hours a day. He became my mentor, and that small, four-stringed instrument became my passion, turning my life around.
A few years later, while I was working as a city groundskeeper at Kapiolani Park, I’d look at the bandstand during my lunch break and dream of putting on an ukulele festival. By then, the ukulele was becoming a thing of the past. I wanted to revive interest in the ukulele and show its versatility as a solo instrument.
The first event in 1971 featured 50 participants and an audience of 100. Today, the ukulele festival has more than 800 participants from Hawaii and all over the world, and there are now ukulele festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and other places, many of which, I’m happy to say, are modeled after Hawaii’s celebration. I also thank Jake (Shimabukuro) and Iz (the late Israel Kamakawiwoole) for bringing more renown to the melodic sounds that emanate from this much-loved instrument. This year’s Ukulele Festival, now in its 41st year, will be held on Sunday, July 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kapiolani Park.
My wife Kathy and I founded Ukulele Festival Hawaii in 2004, and the mission of our nonprofit organization is simple: to bring laughter, love and hope to children and adults throughout Hawaii and the world through the music of the ukulele. Because of the generous support of organizations, entertainers, the community and many volunteers, we are able to keep the ukulele festival free to the public and provide annual college scholarships to deserving high school seniors with an interest in the ukulele.
The public can help by attending the upcoming Ukulele Festival Hawaii Gala on Friday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Ala Moana Hotel’s Hibiscus Ballroom. To learn more about Ukulele Festival Hawaii, visit UkuleleFestivalHawaii.org.
Children Benefit from Princess’ Gift
Wednesday - June 01, 2011 Share
By Kalei Stern, Executive Director
Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation
“Kahiau,” or to give generously from the heart, best describes Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s many contributions to the Hawaiian community. It is this core value and legacy of giving that Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation is built upon and strives to perpetuate.
Established in 2001 as a nonprofit focused on extending Kamehameha Schools’ reach, the Foundation’s mission is to seek and develop new and diverse sources of income to support the ever-increasing educational needs and goals of people of Hawaiian ancestry.
Our mission is accomplished in a number of ways:
1) Endowed Scholarships: The foundation administers more than 50 donor-funded scholarships.
2) Early Childhood Education and Literacy: Our Early Childhood Education and Literacy Fund supports preschools by purchasing books and other learning tools focused on culturally relevant learning.
3) Charter School Support: Hawaiian public charter schools are vital in providing a culturally rich education. The foundation provides funding to ensure our Hawaiian culture continues for future generations.
4) Land Stewardship: Our Land Stewardship Fund supports programs and individuals who are preserving the natural and cultural resources of our precious lands.
5) Advancing the Hawaiian Language: The foundation provides funding to organizations whose efforts are to preserve the Hawaiian language.
Our success centers on our generous donors and giving opportunities, which include Kamehameha Schools’ annual Alumni Golf Tournament, Work Place Giving and our Pennies for Pauahi program.
Pennies for Pauahi, in particular, is a student-driven fundraising program offered at Kamehameha Schools. The campaign focuses on inspiring the younger generation to kahiau. Recently, the students from Kamehameha Schools’ Kea’au campus collected more than $2,000. Combined with additional money from the foundation, the students chose to give the donation to preschools in their community.
To continue Pauahi’s legacy of giving, please visit pauahi.org/giving or call 534-3966.
Looking Out for Man’s Best Friend
Wednesday - May 25, 2011 Share
By Jacque LeBlanc
Community Relations Director / Hawaiian Humane Society
For more than 100 years, Hawaiian Humane Society has served as a focal point of Oahu’s animal community and plays an ever-evolving role as mediator on the changing relationship between people and animals.
In its early days, the Society protected primarily working animals, unwed mothers, adopted out children, and cared for those with mental illness. The Society’s mission of creating a “humane society” has always been about people as much as animals.
Today, we welcome all animals - not just cats and dogs - in need of our care. As Oahu’s only open-door animal shelter, we do not turn any animal away for any reason. We ensure that thousands of homeless animals are not roaming the streets trying to survive on their own.
In 2010, we celebrated more than 6,100 adoptions, 2,732 reunions of lost pets with owners and responded to more than 17,000 calls for help from the community.
Like so many nonprofit organizations, we are finding creative solutions to do more with less. Through our partnerships with volunteers, business and welfare groups, we are helping more animals than ever before. We are your island humane society serving every community on Oahu from Kapolei to Kailua and Waimanalo to Waianae.
We are committed to reducing pet overpopulation with spaying and neutering. More than 7,000 pets were sterilized at the Humane Society last year. Preventing unplanned litters reduces euthanasia and homeless animals in our neighborhoods. If every pet owner sterilized their pets and those feeding feral cats utilized our free spay and neuter services, together, we could save more lives.
When it comes to animal welfare on Oahu, Hawaiian Humane Society is just one part of the solution to making Hawaii more pet-friendly, and supporting the human-animal bond and the humane treatment of all animals. We hope that everyone plays a role in our work and joins our cause.
For more information, visit HawaiianHumane.org.
Giving Families A Helping Hand
Wednesday - May 18, 2011 Share
By Jerri Chang, President
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii
Our two Ronald McDonald Houses work on a very personal level with client-families. After all, since these families with seriously ill or injured children are from the Neighbor Islands and elsewhere in the Pacific, and temporarily residing with us during the child’s medical treatments here in Honolulu, many of their challenges become ours.
The concept is simple. In concert with local children’s hospitals, which provide the required treatments, we strive to create a home-like atmosphere and support system for families, thus reducing the uncertainties that come along with being in an unfamiliar city while facing unfathomable circumstances. It means less stress for families and more time to guide their children through their difficult times.
Since we only ask the families to chip in $20 per day to help defray some of the costs, it also means staying at the Ronald McDonald House won’t add to their financial burden. No eligible family is turned away because they can’t afford the room contribution.
How do we do all this? Well, imagine your own household and what you need to get by. Think electricity, transportation, food, toilet paper, laundry detergent, then multiply that times 17, the number of families we can accommodate.
Just like your family, our families need a roof over their heads, a place to have their meals, a way to get around, somewhere to do laundry and the ability to pick up a phone or go online and communicate with anxious relatives back home. Parents staying with us often say that they are humbled when they realize that so many people they don’t even know have anticipated their needs and established a place of respite and support.
Truth is, virtually none of the families we assist ever expected to see their children fall seriously ill or be traumatically injured. Unforeseen things happen in life, but it is a compassionate and involved society that takes care of its own.
To learn more about RMHC-HI and how you can help, please visit www.RonaldHouseHawaii.org.
‘Taking Care Of Our Own’
Wednesday - May 11, 2011 Share
By CDR John Clark, SCAH Member
Supply Corps Association of Hawaii
The Navy Supply Corps Foundation is a nonprofit philanthropic and social organization with membership open to all individuals who have served as an officer in the United States Navy Supply Corps. A worldwide organization, the Supply Corps Foundation currently has 19 chapters across the U.S. and four International chapters in Iraq, Japan, Afghanistan and Italy. Each chapter is chartered by the foundation and is an ongoing resource for active-duty, reserve, retired and prior service Supply Corps officers in the geographic area served by the association. The Supply Corps Association of Hawaii (SCAH) is the local chapter for Navy Supply Corps Officers living in Oahu.
Although serving within the U.S. military comes with many wonderful benefits, there also are many stressors that are unique to only military members and their families, specifically deployments and mandatory relocating.
To help ease these stressors, the Supply Corps adopted the phrase “Taking Care of Our Own” as a significant part of its mission. To fulfill this concept, SCAH provides professional support to its members through networking mixers and mentoring.
In addition, the foundation has established a Scholarship Award Program and a Memorial Scholarship fund for Supply Corps personnel and their families. The Memorial Scholarship Program provides $10,000 scholarships to the children of Supply Corps service members who have lost their lives while serving our country. To date, 33 children have lost a mother or father who served within the U.S. Navy Supply Corps, and five teens from the list received $10,000 scholarships for the 2010-11 school year.
This is an extremely worthy scholarship program; accordingly, SCAH organizes fundraisers throughout the year to help support its continuation. SCAH’s most recent fundraising efforts took place this past March as The Navy Supply Corps celebrated its 216th birthday. VA Loans Hawaii was the Diamond Sponsor and contributed a $10,000 donation.
For information on the SCAH, visit sca-hawaii.org.
Giving The Gift Of Life, Twice
Wednesday - May 04, 2011 Share
By Dr. Randy Wada, Medical Director
Hawaii Cord Blood Bank
Your Hawaii Cord Blood Bank (HCBB) provides a unique opportunity for new mothers to give the gift of life a second time after the birth of their baby. The leftover blood in a baby’s umbilical cord contains special cells that can be purified and stored. These stored cells can be matched to a patient and used to treat life-threatening illnesses such as leukemia, lymphoma, immune deficiencies and certain genetic diseases. Every day more than 6,000 of these patients search for just the right match that will give them the chance to receive a transplant.
Founded in July of 1998 as a nonprofit organization, HCBB has helped Hawaii mothers and babies save lives all over the world. To date, 77 Hawaii units have been used for life-saving transplants in the U.S. Mainland, Europe and South America.
It’s free, it’s safe, it’s confidential and it does save lives. Donated cord blood cells are collected by the doctor or nurse after the birth of the baby. If not collected, these same life-saving cells would simply be discarded!
Mothers can participate at any Oahu hospital as part of their delivery process. As the state’s only public cord blood bank, HCBB serves as a national model because of the unique ethnic diversity of our generous donors.
HCBB would be happy to talk with any group about our work and the simple process of donating cord blood to save a life. HCBB gratefully accepts financial support. And if you are expecting, please sign up with HCBB to donate your baby’s umbilical cord blood. You and your newborn could save a life!
Contact HCBB at 983-2265, or visit hcbb.org for more information.
This Is What 120 Women Can Do!
Wednesday - April 27, 2011 Share
By Margie VanSwearingen, President
Assistance League of Hawaii
This year Assistance League of Hawaii celebrates 40 years of providing comfort and care to the people of Hawaii. An all-volunteer nonprofit IRS 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to philanthropic programs and education, with special emphasis on children, women, aged, abused and needy, its motto is “Kokua with Aloha.”
A chapter of National Assistance League), ALH was started by women who felt they could apply AL’s “caring and commitment” here in Honolulu. Last year more than 10,000 people in the state benefited from their programs.
With no paid staff, this group of 120 volunteers managed to clothe more than 2,500 public schoolchildren; tutor readers in Hawaii schools; provide more than $8,000 in phone cards to deploying military; provide 5,000 teddy bears to emergency rooms and ambulances to comfort traumatized children; provide clothing and household items for the homeless and those in abuse shelters, and carry an endangered species conservation program to 4,600 fourth-graders on all major islands.
The premier program for ALH is Operation School Bell, which provides new clothing for children in public schools. Schools are selected by the DOE Title I list (free and reduced lunch recipients), with the neediest schools contacted first.
The need is always urgent. Counselors provide a shopping list, volunteers shop and deliver the clothing, which the schools distribute according to need. This protects the privacy of the recipients.
Primary funding to do all this comes from ALH’s Thrift Shop at 1505 Young St. Grants, donations and fundraising events also help.
You can assist ALH by shopping at or donating to the thrift shop, or by sending monetary donations to Assistance League, 1505 Young St., Honolulu HI 96826, or becoming a volunteer member.
Treating Health Inside And Out
Wednesday - April 20, 2011 Share
By Leonard Licina, CEO
Kahi Mohala Behavioral Health
Founded in 1984, Kahi Mohala Behavioral Health is Hawaii’s only private, not-for-profit licensed center for psychiatry exclusively specializing in behavioral health care. With 88 licensed beds, our tranquil 14.5-acre campus in rural Ewa Beach is a complete therapeutic environment for children, adolescents and adults.
Kahi Mohala has Hawaii’s highest concentration of medical professionals certified in a full range of emotional, physical and behavioral health care.
In 2010 we served 1,518 patients from Oahu, the Neighbor Islands, the Mainland and the Pacific Rim, where behavioral health care services are practically nonexistent.
We are dedicated to recovery through empowerment. A fundamental goal in the treatment and recovery process is to teach individuals the skills to self-manage and self-regulate to the fullest possible extent. Our services include Acute Inpatient Care, Psychiatric Evaluation/Treatment, Substance Abuse/Dual Diagnosis Services, Eating Disorder Services, Occupational Therapy, Recreational Therapy and Individual, Family and Group Therapy.
In 1992, Kahi Mohala became an affiliate of Sutter Health, one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit networks of community-based health care providers. Our not-for-profit model means we are not beholden to stockholders, and any resources go toward meeting community needs. Revenue sources include private patients, fee for service contracts, insurance reimbursements, foundation grants and individual donors, including 100 percent participation from our board of trustees.
I’m pleased to announce that Kahi Mohala has been selected for a Sutter Matching Challenge Grant to upgrade our Lehua unit. If we can raise $75,000 from within our own community, Sutter will match it. We welcome your support; please visit kahimohala.org or call 677-2535.
For more than a generation, Hawaii has entrusted us to deliver the highest standards in behavioral health care to those who struggle in their daily lives. We look forward to many more years of service to the community.
Giving Keiki A Good Beginning
Wednesday - April 13, 2011 Share
Good Beginnings Alliance (GBA) is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to initiating and coordinating efforts toward a statewide system of services and support to ensure that all Hawaii’s children up to age 8 are safe, healthy and ready to succeed.
To fulfill this mission, GBA strives to: raise awareness/understanding of the issues facing Hawaii’s young children; inform community leaders of the data that affects their decisions; leverage public/private investments to work cohesively for early childhood; and connect public/private efforts to build a comprehensive early childhood system for Hawaii.
Though GBA champions the needs of Hawaii’s children, we are not without our challenges. Last year, while advocating for early childhood programs, policy-makers told us, “We see the same small group of advocates every time children’s issues come up. If they’re so important, where’s everyone else?”
Therefore, we created two advocacy campaigns: One Voice for Hawaii’s Children, a broad spectrum of early childhood advocates who collaborate to convince government of the importance of early childhood issues, and Be My Voice Hawaii, a public engagement campaign seeking to make children the No. 1 priority by asking people to sign our online endorsement statement.
On Saturday, April 16, GBA will partner with the Special Parent Information Network (SPIN) to sponsor their 2011 conference “Red, White & Blue: SPIN’s Tribute to You!” at the UH-Manoa Campus Center. The conference will give families of children with disabilities access to other parents, professional and useful information through 16 workshops addressing topics such as bullying, behavior, transition, autism, technology and more. DOE superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi will open the conference. For more information, go to the SPIN website at spinhawaii.org or call Jan at 808-586-8126.
Leaving A Lifelong Legacy
Wednesday - April 06, 2011 Share
By Stephen A. Kula, Ph.D., NHA,
Executive Director, Legacy of Life Hawaii
Yolanda Domingo got to see her youngest son graduate from high school, was there for the birth of her grandchildren and is now working toward a degree in medical social work. And all because of a compassionate young man, Steven Ginoza, who left her a “legacy of life” she’ll treasure for the rest of her life - a new heart made possible by Steven’s gift of organ donation following his untimely death in 2000.
Sarah Chee got to walk down the aisle in her beautiful wedding gown last August, barely three months after being told she had less than two weeks to live, thanks to a “legacy of life” from Charlys Tang. When it was clear that Charlys’ life could not be saved, his family, in the midst of their own grief, offered a gift of hope to strangers by donating his organs.
The family of Sheryl Wolfe - an 18-year-old student at Mililani High School - was comforted after her unfortunate death last year by the fact that she had chosen on her learner’s permit application to become an organ donor. Sheryl’s choice saved the lives of three others who were anxiously awaiting organs that, sadly, sometimes never come.
In 2010, 63 life-saving organ transplants like these were performed thanks in part to Legacy of Life Hawaii.
Founded in 1987, Legacy of Life Hawaii recovers organs and tissues for transplant and provides around-the-clock support 365 days a year for anyone whose loved one becomes a donor. Together with hospitals, transplant centers and community partners, we provide an opportunity for individuals like Steven, Charlys and Sheryl to rescue others through organ and tissue donation.
The greatest challenge for Legacy of Life Hawaii is not funding. We receive funding through federal aid, Aloha United Way and various grant sources.
The true challenge is the critical shortage of available organs.
Potential donors can sign up at the DMV when applying for a new license, a license renewal or for a state ID. People also can sign up directly online at legacyoflifehawaii.org.
Hands In For Volunteering
Wednesday - March 30, 2011 Share
By Melissa Kim, Volunteer
Hands In Helping Out (HIHO)
Volunteering is an instance when I can offer myself unconditionally to the community using my own personal strengths. It was important for me to find an organization that felt the same way as I did. As it turned out, Hands In Helping Out (HIHO) found me instead.
I was planting trees in Kalihi Valley under the Ho’oulu ‘Aina Program. There I met Cheri Kishimoto, Shar Leong and Ryan Leong, three of HIHO’s founding members. There was an innate unity about them that I learned was held together by their shared love of volunteering.
Instead of keeping that spirit privatized, in 2009 they used that drive to create a nonprofit organization that encourages, prepares and assists individuals and groups in serving their community through volunteer opportunities that match their lifestyle, abilities and personal interests. Its 125 volunteers have collectively volunteered for more than 2,600 hours, serving a little more than 20 agencies and partnering with seven others such as Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Hawaii Literacy and Lanakila Pacific.
Some might say HIHO acts as a link, connecting people to volunteer opportunities that put their abilities toward the best use for the benefit of the community. Yet I like to look at HIHO as a circle made of links, continually expanding to create sustainable volunteerism through the bonds already existing in the community.
The HIHO logo always reminds me of my first experience in Kalihi Valley. The arrow pointing down, which is inlaid in the arrow pointing up, implies that what a volunteer gets out of the experience is what she or he puts into it. I started out that morning with the intention of building a forest, and what I ended up doing was building a friendship.
For Those With Nowhere To Turn
Wednesday - March 23, 2011 Share
By Pamela Menter, Program Director
When I first came to Safe Haven eight years ago, I met a Safe Haven resident who absolutely adored nature. Each day she lovingly watered and tended to plants that she kept in pots outside as well as the weeds growing in the sidewalk cracks, all with the same attention and care. She was mentally ill, homeless and in serious need of treatment, which she continued to refuse for a long time. Through the committed and dedicated staff at Safe Haven, she learned to trust us, began a medication program, got her own apartment, and became a functioning member of the community.
Those we serve at Safe Haven have their lives changed in unimaginable ways. Many have been beaten down and isolated in a world of their own, severely mentally ill and homeless with nowhere to turn.
Ours is a safe haven for them, offering transitional shelter where they are treated with dignity and respect and they become involved in their recovery process. Even after they move out, Safe Haven remains a support to our alumni, some of whom come back to volunteer and serve as role models for newer peers starting off on their own journey to recovery.
Since its founding 15 years ago, more than 485 people have resided at Safe Haven, 348 of whom have been placed in community housing. The success rate of Safe Haven consumers who have maintained this housing is more than 90 percent - proof positive that Safe Haven as a recovery model works.
Among our success stories is Trina, who says, “If it wasn’t for Safe Haven, who knows where I would be, maybe in jail or ending up dying on the street. Safe Haven has made me feel more confident and prepared for the real world.”
Located in the downtown/Chinatown area of Honolulu, Safe Haven operates as a partnership between two nonprofit organizations, Mental Health Kokua (lead organization) and Helping Hands Hawaii. We receive support from the city, state and federal governments and Aloha United Way.
The community also can assist through much-needed monetary donations to Safe Haven as well as bed linens and towels, personal hygiene items, adult clothing, canned goods, household furnishings for those moving on to outside housing, and retail gift certificates.
To learn more, visit our website, mentalhealthkokua.org/safehaven.html.
On The March For Healthy Babies
Wednesday - March 16, 2011 Share
The March of Dimes Foundation has been working to help Hawaii’s families since 1939. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
One Hawaii mom, Shannon, received a March of Dimes pamphlet titled “Signs of Preterm Labor” during a prenatal visit near her home on the Big Island. She considers this pamphlet the reason her baby, Kau’i, is alive today.
“I read the pamphlet, and I realized that what I thought were normal aches and pains of pregnancy were actually signs that I might be in preterm labor,” she says. Shannon contacted her doctor, and within hours she was on an emergency flight to Oahu’s Kapiolani Medical Center.
After an emergency delivery, Kau’i required specialized care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and Shannon once again came into contact with the March of Dimes through our March of Dimes NICU Family Support program.
Each year in Hawaii, approximately 2,400 babies are born preterm, 1,500 are born with low birth weight and more than 100 die before their first birthday. The March of Dimes is working to reduce and eliminate these statistics through community grants, public and professional health education and our March of Dimes NICU Family Support program.
For more than 40 years Hawaii has helped raise funds to support the March of Dimes through its annual March for Babies. This year’s Oahu March for Babies will be held Saturday, April 23. March for Babies also is held on Kauai, Maui and in Kona and Hilo.
Walkers may sign up at marchforbabies.org or call the Hawaii Chapter office at 973-2155 for more information.
Celebrating Red Cross Month
Wednesday - March 09, 2011 Share
By Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO
American Red Cross, Hawaii Chapter
March is Red Cross Month, a time to thank our supporters and volunteers who make it possible for us to provide services here in Hawaii.
Since 1917, the Red Cross has played a vital role in helping the people of Hawaii recover from every major disaster, including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, major floods, landslides, air crashes, wild fires and hostage situations.
Red Cross volunteers are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, responding to house fires and other disasters that occur in Hawaii every three to four days, providing food, clothing, shelter, crisis counseling and emotional support to help people get back on their feet after a tragedy.
A person who lost everything in a fire explains: “I tell people it’s a miracle, this whole situation changed my life and I accepted more in a positive way because there was help from people like you. I didn’t go homeless ... I went home, and it was a home that through the service of the Red Cross was provided to my family. It’s an amazing thing you do.”
We also provide emergency communications to keep deployed military service members in touch with their families during times of crisis. We train people in CPR, first aid, aquatics, nurse aide, baby-sitting and pet first aid. Almost every weekend, our volunteers staff first aid stations at community events, free of charge. We also have offered free summer swim classes for adults and keiki at Ala Moana Beach for 45 years.
Because we work with firefighters, police, military and civil defense, most people think the Red Cross is a government agency. We are not; we rely on the generosity of Hawaii’s people to provide critical services to our community.
Go to hawaiiredcross.org to become a volunteer, donate or bid on awesome items at our online auction running March 1-20!
Hawaii’s Story Really Matters
Wednesday - March 02, 2011 Share
By Kiersten Faulkner, Executive Director
Historic Hawaii Foundation
Hawaii is a very special place. Its historic and cultural sites tell a rich and varied history of our Islands that make them truly a place apart. Hawaii’s story is told in places of commerce, agriculture, education, recreation, worship, community gathering, civic interaction and neighborhoods. These are places of everyday life, as well as sites where events changed the history of the world.
Historic Hawaii Foundation organized in 1974 around a simple concept - the need to preserve and protect the historic and cultural places of Hawaii. For the past 37 years, we have provided a voice for preservation of the places that matter. As a result, historic properties and their stories are still part of our contemporary experience and not consigned to our landfills.
Historic Hawaii Foundation offers programs in three primary areas: educating and building awareness; supporting smart public policy; and providing technical assistance.
Through our Preservation Resource Center, we are involved in more than 400 individual projects annually to assist homeowners, managers of historic sites, developers, community groups and government agencies to help them understand and apply best practices for preservation of our precious heritage.
Tours, classes and expert lectures connect people to places; legislative education keeps preservation top-of-mind during law-making.
Preservation is a long-term commitment, involving generations of advocates dedicated to action. Sustaining the effort is the result of a committed membership of individuals and the financial resources from signature annual fundraising events.
Program-specific support is provided by generous sponsors and foundations.
We hope that all people who love Hawaii, who want to see it keep its “soul,” will join us in preserving, celebrating and using places that are historically significant and architecturally distinctive in the Islands. You can learn more or become a member at historichawaii.org.
Healing A 118- Year-Old Injury
Wednesday - February 23, 2011 Share
By Toni Bissen, Executive Director
A great hurt takes time to heal, and the process of healing requires understanding, compassion and often forgiveness. That is the case with the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, which forever changed these Islands.
The mission of the Pu’a Foundation is to provide a salve to heal the wounds caused by the overthrow by using research, education and outreach.
Formed in 1996, the foundation is a result of the United Church of Christ’s initiative involving its admission of complicity by forbears in the overthrow. Today, the Pu’a Foundation is active on many fronts.
The Hawaiian Historical Production Project is developing educational modules with print and video components that provide a clearer understanding of the societal context of the 1893 overthrow.
The foundation formed Reconciliation Working and Discussion Groups that allow experts and lay people to examine cultural practices and traditions related to reconciliation and healing.
In addition, the foundation has launched Huliau: Project Turning Point - To Transform Hearts and Minds, which works with inmates of the Women’s Community Correctional Center. It is developing a cultural place-based educational curriculum that inspires positive internal transformation, as well as works with a team involving trauma.
The foundation also holds the annual Na Leo O Ke Ola - Celebrating the Voices of Life, which features people who are positive examples of reconciliation and/or are exemplary community servants. Among past honorees are King William Charles Lunalilo and Queen Lili’uokalani. Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop will be recognized this year.
Pu’a refers to the process of feeding, nourishing and strengthening, from which emerges enlightened and empowered communities. These programs, and others in development, fulfill this mission.
For more information about the Pu’a Foundation, please visit puafoundation.org.
A Cultural Sense Of Self
Wednesday - February 16, 2011 Share
By Bonnie Kahapea-Tanner
Co-director, Mana Maoli
“Kanehunamoku saved my young life and, most definitely, preserved my sanity. When nothing was going right, this beautiful wa’a gifted me a cultural sense of self and a grounded connection to the heavens. I am eternally grateful ... these opportunities have exhaled the pilikia and allowed me to simply exist while sailing on the sea.” - Pomaika’i Freed, HKM alumna
Conceptually, Mana Maoli (MM) is the people and Halau Ku Mana (HKM) the place of our learning ohana. Officially, MM is the nonprofit providing facilities, funding and staff support for HKM, a public charter school.
MM is comprised of youths, educators, musicians, cultural practitioners and families who share a common vision of community healing and empowerment and positive, systemic change through community-based education and awareness; pooling and sharing of resources; and sustainability, both environmental and economic.
In 1999, MM began holding monthly community events and weekly classes for youths in its host communities of Papakolea and Maunalaha. Within two years we earned 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and founded HKM, Oahu’s first startup public charter school.
Each year HKM averages 100 students while additionally serving about 1,000 youths, families and community members. We also run two other programs for youths: Our wa’a program, through the Kanehunamoku voyaging canoe, provides a “floating classroom” for learning academics, culture, values and life skills; and in our Maoli Music program, youth and professional artists collaborate on MM CDs and concerts as a means for raising funds and awareness of the successes of Hawaiian charter schools. Future plans include musician-led music classes in schools and a community co-op studio.
We strive to be less dependent on grants through a combination of donations, volunteers, and marketing products and services. Our greatest challenge and need, however, are resources to implement and grow our programs.
Singing Praises Of The Ukulele
Wednesday - February 09, 2011 Share
By Monica Ivey, PR and Sponsorship Coordinator
The ukulele is an integral part of Hawaiian music and culture, rich in history and it often serves as an ambassador of the aloha spirit, which by definition is the regard, affection, warmth and caring extended to others with no expectation of receiving anything in return — so characteristic of Hawaii’s people.
The mission of the Ukulele Foundation of Hawaii, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) public charity, is to support music in education as well as various charities and arts throughout Hawaii, Japan and the world through collective interest and awareness of the ukulele.
Since its incorporation in 2007, the foundation has hosted six major fundraising events. On Sunday, Feb. 13, Hawaiian Airlines and the Ukulele Foundation of Hawaii present the third annual Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii celebration at Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park. From 9 a.m. until sunset, this free celebration will feature some of Hawaii and Japan’s finest musicians, as well as multiple Na Hoku Hanohano award winners including Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, Mailani, Holunape, Pali and ukulele legends Bill Tapia and Ohta-san.
Other performers the Ukulele Foundation welcomes are the students of Kaiaulu from Ka Waihona o Ka Na‘auao Public Charter School’s Gifted and Talented Ukulele Class (after-school program) in Waianae and their teacher Franny Victorino. These students, all of Hawaiian ancestry and sporting a 3.0 GPA and higher, perform traditional Hawaiian music and hula for the domestic and foreign community by sharing, honoring and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and values.
It is through the foundation and its yearly celebration that these talented musicians are able to share the sounds of ukulele.
In addition to supporting the establishment of an ukulele museum — which will facilitate social, educational and cultural activities in a friendly environment that perpetuates happiness and joy of Hawaii’s most beloved instrument — portions of the proceeds raised from this weekend’s celebration will be donated to the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Bill Murata Scholarship Fund.
To help show your support for the Ukulele Foundation of Hawaii, please visit ukulelefoundationhawaii.org/blog/.
We’re Always Here To Help
Wednesday - February 02, 2011 Share
By Tyler Tokioka, President
Island Insurance Foundation
Guided by our motto of being “Always Here to Help,” Island Insurance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Island Insurance Companies, strives to keep its money working in Hawaii’s communities.
As a nonprofit, we recognize funding resources are extremely precious in our current economy, which is why we make a concerted effort to evaluate and select projects that we believe have the potential to improve the long-term health of our state, while remaining mindful of our most pressing issues.
When the Island Insurance Foundation was informed of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children’s (KMCWC) urgent need to expand its facilities, we were pleased we were able to make one of the first contributions to help launch KMCWC’s capital campaign. KMCWC is the state’s only full-service children’s and high-risk maternity hospital, and as a nonprofit with a policy that includes no one being turned away, overcrowding is an issue. The neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, in particular, often operate at 150 percent capacity.
Upon receiving our donation, Kapiolani Health Foundation president Michael Robinson expressed his appreciation for being the first to commit to this critical project and hoped others will follow our example.
In addition to supporting vital community projects, Island Insurance Foundation also seeks to improve the quality of education in Hawaii.
Currently in its seventh year, the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award was created by our foundation to recognize Hawaii’s public school principals for their leadership and ability to drive positive change in their institutions. Nominees for our award will once again be recognized at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Dinner on April 29.
Being “Always Here to Help” means working to improve the quality of life in Hawaii for generations to come.
Keiki Lend The Aina Their Kokua
Wednesday - January 26, 2011 Share
By Natalie McKinney, Director of Program Development
Kokua Hawaii Foundation
In 2003 musician Jack Johnson and his wife Kim founded Kokua Hawaii Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports environmental education in schools and communities of Hawaii.
The foundation’s mission is to provide students with exciting and interactive encounters that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will become lifelong stewards of the earth.
Since the first semester of the 2010-11 school year, Kokua Hawaii Foundation has reached thousands through school and community programs like the 3R’s School Recycling Program, a hands-on program that empowers students to engage and educate their school community about the 3R’s - reducing, reusing and recycling - through in-class recycling and schoolwide collections led by student councils and service clubs.
Another example is Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s AINA IS (Actively Integrating Nutrition and Agriculture In Schools) program, which aims to connect children to their land, waters and food in order to grow a healthier future for Hawaii. This is done through the promotion of healthy school lunches featuring locally grown produce, nutrition education in the classroom, garden-based learning, agricultural field trips, waste reduction and management, and community outreach.
Other school programs include Plastic Free Schools, Kokua Earth Action Projects (KEAP), Environmental Education Field Trips and Mini Grant Programs, and the foundation’s work also has expanded with local community events and environmental action campaigns like Plastic Free Hawaii and Simplify the Holidays.
Kokua Hawaii Foundation relies heavily on support from volunteers.
Mediated Talks Silence Disputes
Wednesday - January 19, 2011 Share
By Michael Nauyokas
Mediation Center of the Pacific Esq., Immediate Past President
Since its founding 31 years ago, the Mediation Center of the Pacific has helped tens of thousands of parties settle their disputes outside the courtroom in private, yet official meetings.
This year, the Mediation Center of the Pacific’s 200 professional mediators will help more 5,000 people resolve conflicts peacefully. Disputing parties range from employees/employers, consumers/merchants, landlords/tenants and feuding family members.
Take, for example, the case of Joe and Malia, who have been separated since July 2010 when a bitter dispute fractured their eight-year marriage. Joe yearns to see his two children - Kayla, 2, and Bryce, 6 - who are living with Malia and her parents. When they file for divorce the couple is required to contact the Kid’s First program, where they learned about the center.
During an initial session at the center, Joe and Malia agree that Joe should have regular time-sharing meetings with the children. They also agree to return to mediation in two weeks with the paperwork needed to work through all the issues necessary to finalize their divorce. By using mediation to resolve their issues, the couple is avoiding a potentially costly legal battle.
Resolving issues through mediation is both private and more certain, faster and cheaper than litigation. These are some of the reasons why our executive director, Tracey Wiltgen, asserts that it’s better to “talk it out rather than fight it out.”
In today’s bad economy, the number of disputes has increased. Hence, our vital need is to expand awareness of the center’s services to ensure we are serving the community’s growing need.
Likewise, we seek donations to enable us to provide pro bono services to those in need. On April 30, we have one of our annual fundraisers, an evening of entertainment and fine wines called “Under the Mediation Moon 2011” that is held on the Great Lawn of La Pietra School. Call the center for tickets and table reservations.
The Mediation Center of the Pacific is located at 245 N. Kukui St., Suite # 206. For information, call 521-6767 or visit mediatehawaii.org.
Helping Hawaii Breathe Easier
Wednesday - January 12, 2011 Share
By Renee Klein, CEO
American Lung Association in Hawaii
When you think about it, the only really important thing each of us has to do every day is wake up and breathe. Everything else is secondary!
And for more than 80 years, the American Lung Association has been helping people in Hawaii breathe more easily. From our early beginnings fighting tuberculosis to our modern mission of lung health, clean air and tobacco control, we improve health and prevent disease through research, education and defending your right to breathe clean air.
Lung disease, already the third leading cause of death, is growing faster than any other leading killer. We believe that no search for a cure should go unfounded; no child or adult should die from asthma; no child or adult should be affected by or addicted to tobacco products, and no community should be exposed to unhealthy air.
Last year our Freedom from Smoking clinics helped more than 158 people become free from tobacco. We offer workplace presentations and even an online program (http://www.ffsonline.org). And we reached 3,887 elementary, middle and high school students through our innovative Teens Against Tobacco Use program.
Our Better Breather’s clubs help people with emphysema and chronic bronchitis better manage their disease, and our Open Airways for Schools Plus program helped 486 children, educators and parents last year.
Finally, our Lung Help Line (1-800-LUNG-USA) is available 24 hours a day with free counseling by registered nurses, respiratory therapists and quit-smoking specialists.
These programs are only possible through generous cash contributions, vehicle donations or estate gifts, or through special events such as our highly popular Breathe Concert, to be held this fall.
Friends To Books And Readers Alike
Wednesday - January 05, 2011 Share
By Byrde Cestare, Executive Director
Friends of the Library of Hawaii
The Friends of the Library of Hawaii, originally called the Honolulu Library and Reading Room Association, was founded in 1879. The original list of members included missionary families, business leaders, clergymen and royalty. Alexander Cartwright, the father of baseball, was one of the founding fathers, and the first honorary member was King David Kalakaua.
Through the sale of existing property, many fundraisers involving the community and the royal family, a bequest of property at the corner of Punchbowl and South King streets, and a grant of $100,000 from Andrew Carnegie, the Friends of the Library and the territorial government laid the cornerstone for the Hawaii State Library (HSL) in 1911.
The mission of the Friends of the Library of Hawaii is to support and promote Hawaii’s public libraries. FLH supplies funding for items outside the regular budget including programs such as the Summer Reading Program, which statistics show helps bridge the gap between the end of the school year and the beginning of the next.
Advocacy also is a strong component of our support. Last year’s Keep the Doors Open and Keep Your Libraries Open campaigns raised more than $300,000 and focused on the need to restore funding for Hawaii’s libraries.
We currently have 31 Friends affiliates at library branches throughout the state and are actively seeking to expand that important network.
Our two major fundraisers are the annual FLH Booksale and the Links to Literacy Golf Tournament, and our January Warehouse Sale is now in its second year!
Upcoming events include: a Legislative Breakfast Jan. 12 at Washington Place; Friends, Books, Music . . . THE SALE Jan. 15, 16 and 17 at the Harbor Warehouse; FLH annual meeting Feb. 24 at the Hawaii State Library, and the FLH Affiliates Conference Feb. 25 at theHawaii Community Development Authority Conference Room.
Teaching Life Skills Creatively
Wednesday - December 29, 2010 Share
By Dr. Gabrielle Toloza, Founder
Creative Connections Foundation
Having friends is something every parent worries about for their child, especially a child with special needs. Social skills are naturally acquired by most children through their daily play experiences. For some, however, learning to communicate feelings, make a friend, have a conversation or play a simple group game is the ultimate challenge. Creative Connections Foundation (CCF) is a local nonprofit that strives to increase these necessary life skills in children with autism and other developmental challenges.
I established Creative Connections Inc. in 2009 after learning from my work with Hawaii’s families that there were no structured, socially based enrichment programs that adequately met the intensive needs of children with developmental disabilities.
To meet this need, I gathered together a group of energetic, dynamic, educated, well-trained and motivated young, professional women to set up shop in Windward Oahu.
In the past two years CCF has serviced about 40 local families. Our primary objective is to offer a variety of programs that aim to improve the social, emotional and behavioral needs of children, adolescents and young adults.
Programs include semi-structured and unstructured multi-sensory activities built on children’s strengths and personal interests; weekly cooking lessons and related life skills lessons; daily physical activity to address fine and gross motor development; and other activities aimed at improving peer-to-peer interactions, self-help skills, group attention, compliance, functional communication, emotion regulation, problem-solving and positive coping strategies.
We go on community outings two to three times a week, and we also offer a junior leadership program where older children learn responsibility, job skills and increased empathy for others.
CCF currently offers full- and half-day enrichment programs during school breaks, as well as Camp S.E.E.K. (Social Enrichment for Exceptional Kids), a therapeutic summer day camp. Programs are open to children ages 5-18.
Blankets Sewn With Aloha
Wednesday - December 22, 2010 Share
By Annette Marie, Chapter Coordinator
Project Linus is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides handmade blankets to children in need or who are seriously ill.
After reading an article on Christmas Eve 1995 about a child undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment and about how her security blanket helped her get through the treatments, Karen Loucks decided to provide homemade security blankets to Denver’s Children’s Center. From there, Project Linus was born.
Project Linus is a national organization with local chapters on Oahu and the Big Island. Blankets are made by our volunteers who sew, quilt, knit or crochet. The blankets are then donated through local organizations that assist children in order to provide a sense of warmth, comfort and security to keiki.
Local volunteer Mary Kendall has been with Project Linus Oahu since 2003. She has crocheted approximately 350 blankets to donate to the keiki of Hawaii. Not only does she give of her time, knowledge and resources, Mary shares her own patterns to make special blankets for children.
Project Linus is dependent on monetary donations for our funding. Currently, Project Linus Oahu donates as many blankets as possible that are made available by the volunteers who craft them. At this time our greatest challenge is to keep up with the demand for the blankets. We hope to find more volunteers who can help.
There are many ways to help Project Linus. We need donations of yarn, plastic storage boxes, postage stamps and sewing supplies. We also welcome crafters who are able to donate their time and talent to make or teach others how to craft blankets, as well as volunteers to assist with the website and administrative duties.
Making Holiday Wishes Come True
Wednesday - December 15, 2010 Share
By Lynn Vasquez-Dela Cerna, Founder
The Slippah Foundation
Five years ago on the computer bulletin board HawaiiThreads.com, the question “What do you want for Christmas?” was asked. I answered, “I wish for all the children of Mayor Wright Housing to have a pair of rubber slippahs so they won’t have to go barefoot.”
Fellow online members asked how they could help, and soon the simple request snowballed into “The Slippah Project,” and later The Slippah Foundation.
Our mission was simple: to give rubber slippahs to needy children during the holidays. But it started to take a direction all its own. We started giving out canned goods, clothes, toys, and one year we even gave away two pallets of cabbage donated by Hawaii Foodbank. We gave out slippahs to the adults, too!
Every year the list of recipients grew. In 2008, we included most of the public housing facilities and shelters on Oahu, and we also sent out slippahs to Kauai, Maui and the Big Island.
Although The Slippah Foundation became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2009, unfortunately we weren’t able to repeat what we did the previous year due to tough economic times.
We don’t receive any grants. Our donations are from everyday folks and through the Internet.
To help The Slippah Foundation continue to spread joy to families in need, you can donate online at Slippah.org, the preferred and most-convenient fundraising option.
However, if you want to make sure every cent reaches the children, you can mail a check to The Slippah Foundation, 1689 Piikea St., Honolulu HI 96818.
This year, our annual Mayor Wright Housing Christmas Celebration will be held Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. Contact Ligaya Hartman at 366-8775 for more information on ways to make a donation or participate in the season of good will.
I’d like to believe we can donate slip-pahs, food and other goods again this year.
Wishes and dreams do come true. You’ve just gotta believe!
Parents Connect To Cure Autism
Wednesday - December 08, 2010 Share
By Lori Eller, Volunteer
Talk About Curing Autism
At 18 months old, Kai Chorman had very little language. By 24 months, his verbal skills had not improved and his behavioral issues began. There were temper tantrums that could not be controlled followed by periods of unresponsiveness and limited eye contact. By the age of 3, Kai had been diagnosed with a form of autism called pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Daily life was a challenge, and his future looked bleak.
Fortunately his parents Tommy and Tina Chorman found other families with children on the autism spectrum and made valuable connections. Sharing resources, tips and stories, the Chormans were able to find and implement effective interventions to reach their child, who seemed hopeless. Today, at age 7, Kai is completely mainstreamed in a second-grade classroom without support. His teacher didn’t even realize he had an autism spectrum diagnosis (ASD).
Recognizing the important role parents with ASD keiki can play in supporting other ASD families, the Chormans and others formed the Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) Hawaii Chapter in 2008. TACA’s mission is to provide information, resources and support to families with children affected by autism.
Nationwide TACAserves almost 20,000 families, and with no paid local staff, TACA Hawaii still manages to support more than 300 families in the Islands.
Anne Kauffman never misses the monthly TACA support group meeting held at Kaimuki Christian Church.
“Once I found TACA, I never felt alone again,” she says.
Hiromi Toyokama benefitted from TACA’s Autism Journey Seminar: “This all-day parent-led meeting left me feeling empowered to help my child. I appreciated that the parents were able to share from their personal experience without commercial influence.”
Like all nonprofits in a challenging economy, TACA Hawaii’s biggest challenge is fundraising. To contribute, please visit firstgiving.com/tacahawaii.
For more information on TACA, visit tacanow.org/hawaii or call 387-6338.
On A Mission To End Child Abuse
Wednesday - December 01, 2010 Share
By Bonnie Parsons, Board of Directors
Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii
Every minute, a child somewhere in America is abused. Physically. Sexually. Emotionally. But the most upsetting statistic of all is how often abuse is witnessed and ignored. An abused child never forgets, and neither do we.
Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii was started by a group of human service providers who became convinced that the community needed a voice dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. In 1982, this group became the Hawaii Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, one of 43 chapters nationwide.
We are a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse in all its forms and to ensuring that every child in Hawaii is able to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. All programs are designed for the general public and center around providing parents and caregivers with the support and skills they need to perform their roles as effectively as possible.
Our mission is simple: to prevent child abuse through education, public awareness and advocacy that promote positive parenting and healthy families where children are valued and loved. Some of the ways we do this is through a contract with the state Department of Health’s Maternal and Child Health Branch to train early childhood educators who work with parents to strengthen their families. We also organize several events in partnership with the Child Abuse Prevention Planning Council during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, which include a statewide child abuse prevention conference, Teddy Bear Round Up and Pinwheels for Prevention on the lawn of the state Capitol.
PCAH has taken the lead in an educational awareness campaign about the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome called “Never Shake a Keiki,” and we offer an educational outreach program to sports coaches titled “Hey, Coach,” which gives coaches information on positive coaching techniques.
This month we will hold our 24th annual Breakfast with Santa fundraiser. Adonation of $20 includes a meal, photo with Santa, entertainment by clowns, magicians, face painting, costume characters, live musical performances, free games and crafts, and a Christmas gift! It’s a truly memorable event that everyone in the family will enjoy Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Japanese Cultural Center.
To learn more about us or to order tickets for Breakfast with Santa, visit us on the Web at preventchildabusehawaii.org.
Protecting Native Hawaiian Species
Wednesday - November 24, 2010 Share
By Maura O’Connor, President
Conservation Council for Hawaii
When you see a perfect match, like that of the ‘i’iwi’s bill and the curved flower of the ‘oha wai, it’s clear that they were made for each other. But when the complex fabric of the Hawaiian forest began to unravel due to the introduction of foreign species - that then invade and take over native habitats - and the clearing of native forests for other uses, the relationship of these native forest dwellers came apart too. The ‘oha wai became so rare, the birds no longer recognized the flowers as a source of food. In turn, the few remaining plants were not being pollinated. Soon, both species’ numbers had declined to the point that they were thought close to extinction.
In the 1980s and ‘90s, the Conservation Council for Hawaii took legal action to protect hundreds of imperiled native Hawaiian plant species, including the ‘oha wai. Since then, hundreds of ‘oha wai have been planted at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on Hawaii island, and in 2008 wildlife photographer Jack Jeffrey saw an ‘i’iwi feed on the blossom for the first time in more than 100 years.
This year the Conservation Council for Hawaii (CCH) celebrates 60 years of carrying out its mission to protect native Hawaiian plants, animals and ecosystems for future generations. Since its inception in 1950, CCH has been a strong voice for wildlife. Our educational and advocacy programs are based on careful scientific research, public education, grass-roots organizing, advocacy and service.
CCH support comes from grants and dues from more than 5,500 members and supporters who are united by aloha for Hawaiian wildlife and determination to protect the environment for the benefit of the people, the culture and the economy. As the Hawaii state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, CCH also is involved in national issues affecting Hawaii, and has a voice on Capitol Hill.
To learn about volunteer opportunities and ways to become involved, please visit the CCH website: conservehi.org. Join us in speaking up for native species like the ‘i’iwi and ‘oha wai, and celebrating the beauty and diversity of Hawaii’s wildlife and wild places.
Empowering Women And Girls
Wednesday - November 17, 2010 Share
By Marlene A. Zeug, Associate
Director of Programs
As the largest and oldest women’s organization in Hawaii, YWCAOahu has served hundreds of thousands of women and children with its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.
Since 1900, as women found their voices and discovered new avenues to exercise leadership, the YWCA has provided a network of support, training and resources to help women reach new heights. But for women to have the financial and physical well-being to tackle their many responsibilities, we must start with girls at an early age and come together as a “village” to prepare young leaders.
The YWCAYouth Network is a passionate group of 70 teens from schools including Punahou, Sacred Hearts and Waianae High. Youths’voices together with caring adult relationships are cornerstones of the program; youths are decision-makers as they learn by doing, while mentors provide a safe space for them to stretch, dream and try.
In this spirit, the community has rallied for the Youth Network’s College Bound Road Fair, first inspired when the Youth Network learned of peers who hoped to attend college but had few resources. This annual event provides tools, resources and workshops to help students on this journey.
Richel Cole, Sacred Hearts Academy student and Youth Network leader, shares, “Last year, at our college-bound fair, one student said, ‘I am going to make it to college.’ It is amazing to see how much impact youths have on other youths.”
Kristy Huang, Punahou student and YWCA member, also is finding her voice: “I never thought I could do the things I am doing. I’ve grown because adults believed in me.”
And while youths have driven the project, it is adults such as the Junior League of Honolulu’s mentors, businesses and schools such as P-20, Waianae High and Sacred Hearts Academy, that have supported and inspired them.
Join the YWCAin support of our youths. This year’s College Bound Road Fair is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at Laniakea YWCA (1040 Richards St. in Honolulu). Admission is free.
Striving To Find A Diabetes Cure
Wednesday - November 10, 2010 Share
By Mia Noguchi, Marketing and Communications Chairwoman
American Diabetes Association
Currently about 24 million Americans, or one in 10 U.S. citizens, are estimated to have diabetes. Here in Hawaii, more than 113,000 people have diabetes, of which 28,000 remain undiagnosed.
Now the media is reporting that the number of people with diabetes will jump to one in three in the next 40 years. That’s even scarier, because you would think that with all we know today about health in general and current technologies, we would have a way to stop diabetes.
Yet a cure continues to elude us.
Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death. You’re probably wondering why that figure is such a big deal. Besides the number being huge, it gets bigger every day!
I’m sure to many diabetes seems intangible and not as threatening as other diseases because it isn’t something that gives one an immediate sense of doom, like cancer or AIDS, and people seem to live with diabetes every day through managed care.
But did you know that diabetes kills more people than breast cancer and AIDS combined? It also doubles the risk of heart attacks, strokes and liver, pancreas and endometrial cancers.
By sharing these facts, I don’t mean to alarm, but rather to make the point that finding a cure could benefit so many.
This is what the American Diabetes Association has been striving for since 1940. Founded by physicians, ADA was formed to improve the lives of all people affected by the disease via preventative methods and finding a cure.
We are lucky to have the Hawaii chapter working diligently in our own community to provide resources, create awareness and raise money. But let’s not wait another 40 years to actively support the organization’s push for finding a cure.
November is American Diabetes Month, and I encourage you to take just five minutes to find out more about the local organization and this disease that affects so many. Visit us at stopdiabetes.com, diabetes.org or call 947-5979.
Helping Parents With Child Care
Wednesday - November 03, 2010 Share
By Katy Chen, Executive Director
Child care! Where can I find someone? How do I know if the care provider is any good? Will I be able to afford it?
Every Hawaii parent, especially working parents, has had to face these questions. As a parent of two young children myself, I know the worry that comes with trying to find quality, affordable child care, especially since 85 percent of a human’s brain development occurs during the first five years of life!
This is why PATCH is critical to our community. Founded in 1976 as a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit, PATCH helps working families with free child-care referrals, whether you’re looking for a preschool, family child care or before- and after-school care.
We also connect parents to resources to help pay for child care, as well as other resources to guide them through the selection process so they can be confident when choosing care that is best for their family.
And unlike other referral agencies, we refer only those providers who are state licensed and thus meet health and safety standards.
Last year alone, we helped more than 12,000 families find child care. One such example is Virginia Thompson, a single mom in the Army who recently called PATCH asking for help for her 2-year-old son.
“There was no care available on base and, even if there was a vacancy, the hours wouldn’t have worked for when I needed care,” explained Virginia. “Now I have a provider who is flexible, and my son is very happy.”
PATCH also runs free training classes in early childhood education and care for parents, care providers and those interested in opening their own child-care business.
We were recently named the 2010 Aloha United Way Nonprofit of the Year, but we need the community’s help to continue our mission of supporting Hawaii’s child-care needs.
Strengthening The Nonprofit Sector
Wednesday - October 27, 2010 Share
By Lisa Maruyama, President & CEO
Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations (HANO)
What would it look like if Hawaii’s 10,000 nonprofits stopped doing what they do best? Preschools and private schools would close. Public TV and radio would shut down. Services to the disabled, elderly and homeless would be curtailed, community health centers that serve vulnerable populations would be shuttered up, invasive species would run rampant, and culture and art events that spark imagination, creativity and hope would be lost.
Nonprofits touch everyone in Hawaii. The Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations (HANO) believes it is essential to support and strengthen nonprofits by building awareness of and creating clear messages about the value of the sector; advocating on behalf of nonprofits at the federal, state and city levels; bringing nonprofits together to network, learn best practices, share ideas, partner and save money, and being a resource for and about nonprofits.
Our recent endeavors include work at the Legislature to protect essential nonprofit tax exemptions, spearheading a campaign to help the IRS get the word out to nonprofits in jeopardy of losing their status, and providing training and consulting on best practices in board governance, budgeting, leadership and more to nonprofits statewide.
To provide nonprofits more for their limited dollars, HANO is partnering with the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Aloha Chapter and Chaminade University to hold the first Conference of Nonprofit Communities of Hawaii Nov. 9 and 10. The conference features more than 30 sessions on relevant professional development topics along with an exhibition showcasing nonprofit-friendly products and services. In addition, keynote speaker Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger will talk about his life-changing 27 seconds on the Notre Dame football field.
To register for the conference or to consider sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities, go to hawaiinonprofitconference.org/.
To continue to serve Hawaii’s nonprofits, HANO needs your support! Become a member by visiting hano-hawaii.org, or call Sally Ley at 529-0455.
Perpetuating Our Hawaiian Heritage
Wednesday - October 20, 2010 Share
By Kuuwainani Eaton, Member
Hoakalei Cultural Foundation
What is it to be a Hawaiian? If you ask kupuna Arline Wainaha Kuuleialoha Brede Eaton, she will tell you it is having a strong foundation. She also will tell you being Hawaiian is knowing who you are by having lokahi (unity), kuleana (responsibility), kokua (cooperation) and ho’ihi (respect).
A cherished cultural resource and treasure, kupuna Eaton is one of just two children to have grown up in Pu’uloa in an area now known as Iroquois Point, Ewa Beach. She is considered the most knowledgeable kupuna on the Ewa Plain, and today she also serves as president of the Hoakalei Cultural Foundation.
Established in 2006 to ensure good stewardship of the land and heritage of the Ewa Plain, the Hoakalei Cultural Foundation’s vision is to enable future generations to understand, value and respect the spirit, natural resources and heritage of the Ewa moku, and to use it to guide their lives. Toward this end, the foundation provides oversight of work to make archaeological sites within the Hoakalei Resort accessible to the community, and is actively creating partnerships with area schools and opportunities to pass on knowledge from one generation to the next.
One of the foundation’s most recently completed projects is a video capturing
kupuna Eaton’s mo’olelo, or stories, of the Ewa moku from traditional Hawaiian times to the present. This oral history will be used to fulfill our mission to provide students, residents and visitors the opportunity to learn and gain a deeper appreciation for native Hawaiian culture, traditions, plant life and archaeology.
Additionally, on Saturday, Nov. 6, the Hoakalei Cultural Foundation will once again host its annual Arbor Day tree giveaway and landscaping workshop, providing participants the opportunity to learn to plant and grow native species. Advanced registration is required.
These are just a few initiatives of our organization that will help others gain a better understanding of Hawaii and build a stronger cultural foundation. For more information or to make a donation, please visit HoakaleiFoundation.org.
Racing To End Breast Cancer
Wednesday - October 13, 2010 Share
By Rebecca Pang, board member
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. These are our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties, friends and colleagues.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what will you promise to help save lives, enhance access to quality care and energize science to find a cure?
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, back in 1982 that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Brinker then established the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, which started the global breast cancer movement. Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists.
The Hawaii Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure helps address the under-served and uninsured women of Hawaii. This includes collaboration among Hawaii’s health-care providers and implementation of free screening mammograms, breast health education programs, health fairs and travel funding for Lanai, Molokai and Niihau residents.
Up to 75 percent of Komen Hawaii’s net income stays right here in the state. The remaining 25 percent of proceeds fund national breast cancer research programs.
With your donations, Komen Hawaii was able to give more than $280,000 in grants to community health centers, benefiting the patients of Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, West Hawaii Community Health Center, Hawaii Medical Center, Kokua Kalihi Valley, Papa Ola Lokahi, Waimanalo Health Center, Molokai General Hospital, Hamakua Health Center, Bay Clinic, Koolauloa Community Health and Wellness Center, and Waikiki Health Center.
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur or a fundraising expert to join the cause. You just need the desire to make a difference.
We encourage you to sign up for Komen Hawaii’s biggest fundraiser, the 16th Annual Race for the Cure. This 5K Run/Walk takes place Sunday, Oct. 17, at Kapiolani Park. By participating in the Race for the Cure, you can help support the women and men affected by breast cancer.
Make the promise.
To register, donate or for more information, go to komenhawaii.org or call 754-6659.
Serving More Than Just A Meal
Wednesday - October 06, 2010 Share
By Toni Fegers, Director
Lanakila Meals on Wheels
This year, Lanakila Meals on Wheels celebrates 39 years of service. What began as a program with one lunch truck in A’ala Park has expanded into Hawaii’s largest meal provider for seniors, with more than 300 volunteers delivering more than 5,500 meals each week.
A program of Lanakila Pacific, Lanakila Meals on Wheels also offers many other services designed to help Hawaii seniors remain healthy and living in their own homes, rather than more costly premature institutionalization.
Now we are witnessing the building of a crisis - a rise in calls coming from seniors who need our help and the aging baby boomer population described as an impending “silver tsunami.”
The calls for help are coming directly from seniors and increasingly from caregivers who are themselves being affected by the economy. One woman had been taking care of her elderly neighbor for six years. The woman called distraught because she had been laid off a month ago and now could barely keep her family fed. She wanted to know if we could help her neighbor.
It’s stories like this that make up Lanakila Meals on Wheels. It starts with people looking out for each other, neighbor looking after neighbor.
To help reach more of our elderly neighbors in need, the concept for The Good Table came about from the idea of involving restaurants as collaborators since, like us, they are the kitchens of our community.
On Oct. 7, Lanakila Pacific and honorary chair Chef Alan Wong will host the second annual Good Table. More than 50 popular Oahu dining establishments are each serving a special feast for pre-purchased tables in their restaurants, all to benefit Lanakila Meals on Wheels.
The event helps kick off our holiday drive, including Lanakila Kitchen’s Thanksgiving Meals to Go service, where people can order hot Thanksgiving meals with all the trimmings to benefit Lanakila Meals on Wheels.
To learn more, volunteer, donate or get involved, please visit lanakilapacific.org or call us at 531-0555.
Lessons That Conquer Dyslexia
Wednesday - September 29, 2010 Share
By Sheri DeFreitas, Administrative Assistant
Dyslexia Tutoring Center of Hawaii
Did you ever wonder where your money goes when you drop a dollar into a can to help fight hunger or pledge money over the phone to help find a cure for some disease? Well, I do not have the answer to those questions, but I can tell you exactly where every dollar goes when it is donated to the Dyslexia Tutoring Center of Hawaii (DTCH).
Margarette Pang, the founder and executive director of the DTCH, makes sure that every donation is used in the most efficient and effective manner to benefit all of the students in her program. She opened DTCH, a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, on July 26, 2004 in Ewa Beach. A Hawaiian woman who overcame her own dyslexia, Margarette founded DTCH so that other children would not have to go through the humiliation, frustration and shame that she endured as a result of her learning disability.
People with dyslexia learn differently, and in most cases they have difficulty in learning from traditional methods of teaching. The core of the services offered at DTCH lie in improving a child’s socio-emotional development by strengthening her self-worth and tapping into the school, community and family to achieve this.
According to the National Institute of Health, dyslexia is defined as a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. DTCH tutors individuals in reading, writing, spelling and handwriting to help them overcome the challenges and difficulties related to their dyslexia.
We are holding our second annual Raising Awareness on Dyslexia Fundraiser from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 9 at Wet ‘n’Wild Hawaii. Come and enjoy the exciting rides, live entertainment by Hoku Zuttermeister, Kupaoa and A Touch of Gold, wonderful prizes and the sense of camaraderie while supporting this amazing organization.
Tickets cost $25 pre-sale and $30 at the gate. For ticket and event information, please call 295-4298. Contact us directly at 676-5515 or online at dtchawaii.org to learn more about our program and services.
Providing Social Services For All
Wednesday - September 15, 2010 Share
By Jerry Rauckhorst, President and CEO
Catholic Charities Hawaii
Two years ago, “Sandra” found herself living on the beach with her two school-aged children. She moved from shelter to shelter, never feeling like she had a home. But through caring help and support, Sandra found solace at Catholic Charities Hawaii’s Maili Land Transitional Housing Program.
The program provided the family a safe place to stay while Sandra attended classes to learn the skills needed to better provide for her family. Sandra has learned to manage her money and is taking classes to become a childcare provider. This is just one of the many stories of hope made possible by the work of Catholic Charities Hawaii.
Serving Hawaii since 1947, CCH provides a wide range of social services with dignity, compassion, social justice and a commitment to excellence.
Through programs and advocacy efforts, CCH serves all people, especially those with the greatest need, regardless of their faith or culture.
Last year, CCH served more than 40,000 people on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. But the current economic climate has resulted in an increase in domestic violence, child abuse, homelessness and many other social issues as families struggle to stay afloat.
Earlier this year, CCH reached a milestone through the dedication of the Catholic Charities Hawaii Clarence T. C. Ching Campus. This new permanent home has allowed us to consolidate services to increase efficiencies and to offer easier access to services for clients. The new campus was a huge undertaking that required a significant capital campaign for which we are continuing to solicit funds.
We are asking for the community’s assistance to help us raise the remaining $10 million by the end of 2010 to help ensure CCH’s sustainability into the future. For more information or to lend support, visit catholiccharitieshawaii.org.
Friends Furthering Cancer Research
Wednesday - September 08, 2010 Share
By Mary Worrall, Board Member and Event Co-Chair
Friends Furthering Cancer Research Center of Hawaii
Cancer is a disease that touches all of us, which is why the nonprofit Friends of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii supports the important work done by the the University of Hawaii’s Cancer Research Center of Hawaii (CRCH) by raising funds and coordinating fundraising events in the community to further cancer research.
By working with major Hawaii hospitals, physicians and other cancer organizations, CRCH strives to find cures for cancer, educate the people of Hawaii on cancer prevention and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with it. It is one of only 65 National Cancer Institutes in the United States, and its new building, which has been funded by our state cigarette tax, is slated to begin construction next month in Kakaako next to the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Completion is expected in 2013.
Through our annual signature fundraising gala, “Mauka Makai ... The Voyage to Discovery,” we are able to help raise funds for cancer research and also honor those who’ve made an impact in cancer prevention and awareness. This year we will honor local philanthropists Bert and Susan Kobayashi by awarding them the Mauka Makai 2010 Award for their significant contributions to the progress of cancer research, treatment and education.
Help us fulfill our mission of generating community support for CRCH’s efforts by attending our annual fundraising gala on Friday, Sept. 17, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Under the theme ¡Viva la Cancer Research!, the open-air venue will be converted into a border-town marketplace complete with food stalls, margaritas, a wonderful silent auction, live entertainment and a few surprises.
Remember, 100 percent of your donation remains in Hawaii. Find out other ways you can help by visiting crch.org.
Building Bridges Of Brotherhood
Wednesday - September 01, 2010 Share
By Hugh O’Reilly, Board Member
Peace Bridge Inc.
Peace Bridge Inc. is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2007 to carry on the legacy led by my late father, Hugh F.X. O’Reilly, and the Hawaii-based 27th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army, also known as the Wolfhounds.
The Peace Bridge board is 100 percent volunteer-based and is made up of military and civilian community members who are dedicated to the Peace Bridge mission, which is to support, perpetuate and build upon the unbroken tradition of compassion, friendship and peace that began in 1949 between the Wolfhounds and the Holy Family Home orphanage in Osaka, Japan.
In fact, the name of the organization was derived from the title of the book A Bridge of Love from East to West about Sgt. O’Reilly and this relationship between the Wolfhounds and the home.
Peace Bridge serves as the torchbearer of the Wolfhound/Holy Family Home legacy that began 61 years ago. As such we are “serving” all the past, present and future members of the 27th Infantry Wolfhounds, stationed at Schofield Barracks.
Peace Bridge organizes and funds two key events annually to further this incredible legacy. Each summer four children from the Holy Family Home (different ones each year) are flown to Hawaii for a two-week trip of a lifetime. They stay with Wolfhound families and spend two weeks experiencing all that Hawaii has to offer. More importantly, they experience a real family life.
At Christmas, Peace Bridge funds an annual Christmas party for all the children and staff of the Holy Family Home. Representatives from the Wolfhounds fly to Japan with gifts for all. Additionally, each year via Catholic Charities, children from Holy Family Home are adopted by Hawaii and Mainland families.
Our greatest challenge is moving into the future and growing upon this legacy of international brotherhood and understanding. Our primary goal at this point is to establish scholarships with local universities for children of the home.
Peace Bridge is entirely funded through private donations. Tax-deductible donations are made via our website, wolfhoundspeacebridge.org, or through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC# 93048).
Enriching Lives With Outreach
Wednesday - August 25, 2010 Share
By Rodney Wong, Head Chef
Kahala Nui is a nonprofit, continuing care retirement community dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors through programs and outreach. Whether individuals are within or beyond the walls of the building, the community is committed to providing services and resources to our kupuna.
Each year, Kahala Nui’s dining team cooks more than 240,000 meals. That is 8,000 pounds of rice, 77,000 cookies and 91,000 pounds of papaya! Now the crew is taking on a new community initiative: making 13,500 additional meals to donate to seniors in the Meals on Wheels program.
For six years, my kitchen team and I have been busy serving up nutritious meals for Kahala Nui residents, and we are excited about this new venture. In addition to our regular duties, the staff will cook 50 meals daily to donate to Meals on Wheels. Kahala Nui residents also will volunteer their time to help package the food, while management associates soon will begin volunteering to deliver the piping-hot meals.
The Meals on Wheels program is just one way that Kahala Nui helps seniors in the community. There are knitting classes for residents and employees, during which they knit more than 100 scarves that were then donated to Palama Settlement seniors. Kahala Nui also has gotten involved with creating gift bags filled with personal items and a gift card as a donation to the Lokahi Giving Project.
Additional support has been provided to Aloha United Way, Catholic Charities Hawaii and other local nonprofits.
Kahala Nui understands that as Hawaii’s senior population continues to grow, it’s important to support and increase services for them that promote independence and comfort in their own home.
We’re constantly looking at ways to help out seniors in their community, and lately, lending a hand means wearing a hair net.
For more information, visit kahalanui.com.
Building More Successful Teens
Wednesday - August 18, 2010 Share
By Destiny Carrillo, Project Coordinator
Local author John H. Clark III is opening a Hawaii chapter of TeenBuildingUSA, a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing high school graduation rates, promoting higher education and providing an optimistic venue for teens to develop life leadership skills.
TeenBuildingUSA’s mission is to provide each student with the resources and support necessary to successfully complete a high school diploma and develop a plan for future success.
Though not currently funded and operating solely via a volunteer support system, TeenBuildingUSA presently provides educational seminars free of charge to teens and parents.
TeenBuildingUSA seminars include college preparatory programs, which provide SAT/ACT workshops, college research assistance, college application assistance, scholarship application assistance and financial aid application assistance; personal life leadership programs, which teach leadership skills to teens and parents; and academic enrichment programs, which provide writing workshops, goal-setting, planning, decision-making and study skills development.
At a recent TeenBuildingUSA seminar, Clark shared the true story of how his life changed from an academic all-star to a troubled youth. Students listened intently as Clark shared stories from his book Getting Out: Expert Advice for Today’s Teens, which tells the gritty story of how a night out with friends contributed to his choice to drop out of high school.
“I’m just a little further down the road, and I want to share knowledge with teens that will help them avoid accidents on their own path of life,” he says.
Support TeenBuildingUSA-Hawaii and purchase a copy of Getting Out during the months of August and September at TeenBuildingUSA.org. A special discounted price of $10 is being offered, and all proceeds directly benefit TeenBuildingUSA-Hawaii. A big mahalo to Mr. Clark for donating the books!
Caring For Our Ocean Home
Wednesday - August 11, 2010 Share
By Stuart Coleman, Hawaii Coordinator
Surfrider Foundation is a grass-roots nonprofit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research and education (CARE).
Founded in 1984 by a small group of visionary watermen, Surfrider Foundation now has more than 50,000 members and 70 chapters around the world. Surfrider has four chapters in Hawaii - Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Our members are a diverse group of surfers, paddlers, divers and ocean lovers who are committed to beach access, water quality, responsible shoreline development and the reduction of single-use plastics and marine debris.
One of the founding board members of Surfrider was Hawaii’s most famous water-woman, Rell Sunn. Known as the Queen of Makaha, she was the first female lifeguard and pro surfer in Hawaii, as well as the founder of the ongoing Rell Sunn Menehune Contest. Before and after each contest, she would hold beach cleanups and tell all of the keiki, “Malama i ke kai - take care of the ocean.” She knew that if we take care of the ocean, the ocean will take care of us.
When she was only 32, Rell was diagnosed with breast cancer and told she had less than a year to live. Despite her prognosis she lived for 15 more years, and her illness only increased her dedication to take care of the environment. She understood that pollution of the land and sea caused many illnesses, like her own.
Though she died in 1998, Rell’s memory continues to inspire all those who love Hawaii and want to protect her beautiful beaches.
Following in her footsteps, Surfrider’s Hawaii chapters hold monthly meetings and beach cleanups across the Islands. Everyone is welcome at our events, and each year our volunteers literally remove many tons of debris from our beaches and coastal areas.
Our next big beach cleanup will be on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon at Ala Moana Park. Volunteers can meet in front of Magic Island. We’re partnering with Barefoot Wines, and it will host a free party at Tiki’s Bar & Grill afterward for volunteers who are over 21.
To find out more about Surfrider Foundation, make a donation or join a local chapter, go to surfrider.org/oahu or call me at 942-3841.
And remember Rell Sunn’s words of wisdom: Malama i ke kai - take care of the ocean.
Helping People Bounce Back
Wednesday - August 04, 2010 Share
By Robert Piper, Esq., Executive Director
Honolulu Community Action Program Inc. (HCAP)
After getting laid off this April, “Frantino” was applying for welfare and looking for work as his family struggled to make ends meet. In June, he applied for Honolulu Community Action Program’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and received assistance to pay his electric bill. There, he learned about HCAP’s job-readiness training, which he attended and received a free bus pass to go job searching. Less than a month later, Frantino is employed full time and once again supporting his family and two children.
HCAP has served Oahu’s economically disadvantaged families and communities for more than four decades. Established in 1965 through the War on Poverty, HCAP is part of a national network of community action agencies that is 1,100 strong. Through five district centers across Oahu, HCAP offers a range of programs to help needy families overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency.
HCAP is best known for its Head Start preschool program, the largest in the state. Through this program, approximately 1,650 children ages 3 to 5 attend preschool at 91 classrooms islandwide at free or reduced rates. HCAP also helped 140 former high school dropouts earn diplomas through its Competency-Based High School Diploma (C-Base) programs, and 250 seniors re-entered the work force through its Senior Community Services Employment Program.
In the past year, the agency has provided housing for 133 homeless adults at its Kumuhonua Transitional Shelter and helped feed more than 5,000 people through the Ohana Produce and Emergency Food Assistance programs. Finally, by utilizing federal stimulus funds, HCAP helped low-income households save on their energy bills through the Weatherization Assistance Program, which installs free energy-saving devices including CFL light bulbs and solar water heaters.
Youths Team Up For Nonprofits
Wednesday - July 28, 2010 Share
By Beatrice Parrish, Advertising &Marketing
Rise Up Hawaii
A small group of Hawaii’s youths is proud to introduce you to our Rise Up Hawaii organization!
We are a newly established nonprofit group founded in January, comprised of diverse college students and alumni from around the island. The volunteers of Rise Up emerged with a mission to promote humanitarian activism within communities of Hawaii immediately after the Haiti earthquake crisis.
To counteract the catastrophe, we decided to create Rise Up to aid nonprofit organizations by organizing benefit concerts. We have dedicated our organization to encouraging Hawaii’s awareness and action toward humanitarian issues.
To do this, in the short time since our establishment, Rise Up has accomplished fundraising nearly $2,500 for the American Red Cross’s Haiti and Chile relief program from our first event, “Rise UP for Haiti: A Benefit Concert,” on March 25, 2010. The concert featured performances from more than 30 local Hawaiian artists as well as successfully rallying more than 300 attendees.
Just recently Rise Up has done it again. On May 30, Rise Up held its second benefit concert to raise awareness against animal cruelty. The event featured local performing artists, such as The Deadbeats, and as we promised, all proceeds were allocated to the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Our next event will be held this December, when we will focus our efforts on Hawaii’s homeless.
Our homeless event is expected to be our greatest so far, so we wholly welcome any contribution out there. We are looking for new sponsors, group partnerships and new members.
If you would like more information or would like to become a part of the Rise Up group, please visit our growing Web site, riseuphawaii.org, and Facebook page: Rise Up Hawaii.
Raising Healthy Kids, Parents
Wednesday - July 21, 2010 Share
P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc. was created by a group of volunteers in 1975 as Parents Anonymous of Hawaii to strengthen families to prevent and stop child abuse and neglect in Hawaii. The name of the agency changed to P.A.R.E.N.T.S. in 1995 and is an acronym that stands for Provides Awareness, Referrals, Education, Nurturing, Therapy and Support.
Kathi Kreinik became its first executive director in 1982, starting with a budget of $4,000 to build the fledgling nonprofit into a statewide agency. After 14 years she left to return to a direct therapy practice. She retired in 2006 and by chance met the current executive director of P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc., Lisa Groulx, and found out they had much in common.
The two women discovered they share a belief that all children deserve to be raised in a positive, loving, healthy, nurturing and safe environment. They also believe that parenting is a learned behavior and that it does not always come naturally to some people.
Child abuse and neglect, unfortunately, is often a cycle that repeats itself from generation to generation. Children grow up to raise their children the way they were raised. P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. helps parents stop this destructive cycle and replace negative parenting with positive ways to raise their children. The agency currently provides services to families on Oahu, Maui and in East Hawaii.
With the economic downturn in the past three years, parents are finding themselves even more stressed, and they sometimes lash out at their family members. Many have lost their jobs, some have developed a substance-abuse problem trying to cope, and some are homeless. P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. has found that the need for its services is greater than ever before.
At the same time, P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. is struggling to survive as an agency. We have experienced severe cutbacks in funding and from donations. Fundraising has become increasingly difficult.
Everyone has an investment in ensuring our future. P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. is asking for your help. All donations are tax-deductible and are used only in Hawaii. Please send your donation to P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. at 45-955 Kamehameha Hwy., Suite 403, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744.
Any parent or child needing help may call 235-0255 or visit hawaiiparents.org.
On A Spiritual Mission To Serve
Wednesday - July 14, 2010 Share
By Maj. Edward Hill, Divisional Commander
The Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division
Changes and challenges have come and gone over the years, but through them all the sacred mission of The Salvation Army has never altered from the moment in 1865 that our founder, William Booth, formed The Salvation Army in the slums of London. That mission can be expressed in this enduring motto of our movement, “Heart to God, Hand to Man.”
From humble beginnings 145 years ago, the Army has grown impressively and now operates in 121 countries around the world. Programs and services are vast, including the operation of schools, medical clinics, drug treatment centers, youth programs, camps, feeding centers, daycare services, senior housing and disaster services.
These programs and services are motivated by our spiritual commitment to God. We believe that he has called up The Salvation Army to serve him and, in response, to serve others in need. All of our services are rendered without discrimination, but we make no secret or apology that all we do is carried forward in the name of Jesus Christ.
Every day in Hawaii, people are touched by the compassionate service of The Salvation Army. Its workers and volunteers are seen in parks and out-of-reach places delivering food bags to the homeless and disenfranchised. We also provide youth/family programming and spiritual enrichment opportunities that make a profound difference in the lives of thousands. This diverse and almost endless list of ministries of The Salvation Army are only possible because many in the community share our mission to reach out to the hurting.
These are challenging days for the Army as we seek to keep our programs and services vibrant during tough economic times.
I would ask that you please continue to support the Army’s ministries through the gifts of your time, talent and treasure. These gifts make all the difference as we strive to stay true to our mission.
God bless you and thank you for your interest in and support of The Salvation Army. To find out more, please visit salvationarmyhawaii.org.
One Giant LEAP For Child Rights
Wednesday - July 07, 2010 Share
By Stanley Levin, President
Levin Education Access Project
Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest experiences. Yet, as described by one of our parents, when they suspected that their child was not developing like other children, the feelings, anxieties and questions became all-consuming. When they received the news that their child had a developmental disability, the weight of responsibility to care for that child increased tenfold.
Parents understandably need help navigating the field of special education in order to ensure that their child receives important, appropriate education and services. The Levin Education Access Project (LEAP) was founded in 2009 to ensure children’s rights to appropriate education and to advocate on behalf of children and families facing disabilities.
As a private, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) agency, LEAP is organized around the principle that all children have a right to reach their full potential and that the proven way to realize that promise is through appropriate education.
In furtherance of this mission, on July 17 from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the William H. Richardson School of Law, LEAP is presenting a special seminar with Dr. Barbara Bateman, an internationally renowned expert in special education and special education law. She has worked in the field of education for more than half a century and has provided training in all 50 states.
Parents facing the daunting task of the educational program meetings and understanding the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act need relevant information in language that they can understand. At the seminar, Dr. Bateman will present practical hands-on material on appropriate education programs and what to do if the school district fails to implement those programs. Please call 237-LEAP (5327) for more information.
All members of our community have a vested interest in education. LEAP invites you to join us in the founding of this important organization. Visit leaphawaii.com to learn more.
The Red Cross Is On Call 24/7
Wednesday - June 30, 2010 Share
Since 1917, the American Red Cross has played a vital role in helping the people of Hawaii recover from every major disaster, including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, major floods, landslides, air crashes, wild-fires, high surf and hostage situations.
But it’s not only the big disasters that count.
Red Cross volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, responding to fires and other disasters that occur in Hawaii every three to four days, providing food, clothing, shelter, crisis counseling and emotional support to help people get back on their feet after a tragedy.
A Windward house-fire victim who lost everything expressed his gratitude that within an hour, the Red Cross was at his home, helped his family financially, supported them emotionally and checked up periodically to make sure they were doing fine. This is what we do.
We also provide emergency communications to keep deployed military servicemembers in touch with their families during times of crisis. If a soldier is in Iraq and his father is dying, we’ll get word to that soldier so he can come home and say his last goodbye.
Beyond providing these free services to disaster victims and military families, we train 33,000 people annually in CPR, first aid, aquatics, nurse aide, family care-giving, baby-sitting and pet first aid. Almost every weekend, our trained volunteers staff first aid stations at community events, free of charge.
For 45 years we have offered our free Summer Swim Program to adults and keiki at Ala Moana Beach. Session II starts July 6 (adults) and July 10 (keiki); register beginning June 27 at hawaiiredcross.org.
Because we work side-by-side with firefighters, police, military and civil defense, most people think that the Red Cross is a government agency. But we are not; we rely on the generosity of Hawaii’s people to provide critical services to our community. Go to our Web site and become a volunteer or donor today!
ATRC Makes Camp ‘Cool’
Wednesday - June 23, 2010 Share
By Dara Fukuhara, Community Outreach Coordinator
Resource Centers of Hawaii
Computers, digital photography, 3D software, a mini carnival - these are things you normally don’t think of when you hear the word “camp.” But at Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawaii, these are words we associate with our Camp Cool.
Camp Cool is the only two-day, daytime-only computer camp for children with disabilities from 8 to 13 years of age and their siblings or friends. It covers technology concepts such as digital photography, digital movie design and 3D animation. The goal of the program is to introduce children with disabilities to a variety of technology concepts to increase their knowledge, skills and self-confidence, based on the individual’s abilities.
“Alex,” one of the campers who attended our last camp, was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis, a rare disease that affects various systems and can cause seizures and developmental delay. At school, it is challenging for him to sit in a class and listen to verbal instruction. But at Camp Cool, he is exposed to hands-on, visual activities that aren’t offered in the classroom, and the volunteers give each camper individual attention.
ATRC is a statewide nonprofit organization committed to linking people with disabilities to assistive technology so they can participate in every aspect of community life while maintaining independence and dignity. For more than 19 years, ATRC has fulfilled this mission by promoting technology through advocacy, training, information and education.
We are seeking motivated and reliable volunteers for our upcoming Camp Cool on two consecutive Saturdays, July 10 and 17. We are looking for volunteers who work well with children and disabilities, and who have some knowledge of computers and software programs. Volunteers will attend a mandatory meeting prior to the camp and must be willing to go through a background check.
Healing Boo-boos On The Inside
Wednesday - June 16, 2010 Share
By Cynthia White, Executive Director Kids hurt too
In 2009, 8-year-old Josh was diagnosed with a heart condition. It was frightening for his mother, a low-income single parent of two, college student and foster care alumna.
Josh now attends a loss from separation group at Kids hurt too. When asked how the program helps, Josh replied, “It helps me forget my dad.” He considered that a good thing, because the memories are painful. At the support group, families learn they are not alone and that people care.
Kids hurt too was named by children in 2006. It started as Outreach for Grieving Youth Alliance in 2001, providing positive peer support groups and mentoring programs for orphans, foster children and children in single-parent families. The nonprofit also includes the Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition, a youth-led organization.
One of the worst things that can happen to a child is losing a parent, resulting in fear and despair. Seeing them relax, open up and regain the sparkle in their eyes is nothing short of inspiring.
Children make sure parents don’t forget a meeting. One mother’s children cried every night until they joined a group. Parents are comforted when they witness their children becoming emotionally stable and happier.
Kids hurt too will be at the Home, Garden and Remodeling Show June, 18, 19 and 20 offering a Children’s Healing Garden, a place where children learn that “Happiness Grows a Long Way!” They can take home a plant, too.
The garden was inspired by Dennis Kim of Native Plant Source, who started the Kids hurt too mentoring program “Seeds of Love,” teaching children how to cultivate plants. The Kids hurt too stage will feature LATKO, an international magician; Hawaii’s top comedians Augie T., Mel Cabang and Kaleo Pilanca; and Alyssandra Baniqued, Miss Hawaii High.
The Gift Shop That Keeps Giving
Wednesday - June 09, 2010 Share
By Erin Abigail Marden, Publicity Chair
Boutiki is a volunteer-run gift shop located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Since its inception in 1973, Boutiki has donated more than three quarters of a million dollars back to the community.
Boutiki’s profits are donated annually to charity, and the money stays here on Oahu to benefit our military ohana. This year we gave more than $30,000 to local organizations, including the Red Cross, USO and Navy Hale Keiki school along with Hale Kula Elementary School and many others.
The Contemporary Museum has a military family out-reach program enabled in part by funding from Boutiki.
Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii provides scholarships to military dependents to participate in lessons and horse-care classes. Funding also has enabled the Wounded Warrior Division to work on strength, balance and coordination with the horses.
Boutiki’s greatest challenge is getting the word out that we are here. We offer a selection of unique gift items, jewelry and home accessories from local and international artists. Anyone can shop here.
Our core of volunteers now encompass all branches of military services, but we are always looking for volunteers, as we have a need for help in all areas. Our main fundraiser is the annual tour of homes in December. Coming up in August we have our tag sale, and the first week of October we have a Christmas open house. Join us and help make a difference in our military community.
Boutiki can be reached at 422-6662, or find us on Facebook, keyword “Boutiki.”
Or stop by and see us! We are located at 640 Club Road, Pearl Harbor, Hi 96860 on the left just past Scott pool. Our hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Service Is Key To Young Leadership
Wednesday - June 02, 2010 Share
By Jonathan Cook, PR/Marketing Chair
School furloughs, budget cuts, upset and confused parents - our local headlines are full of these today. The Hawaii Jaycees has decided to try to be part of the solution by rallying Hawaii to come together.
The U.S. Jaycees was founded in 1920 in St. Louis, Mo., to teach “Leadership Through Community Service” to young people ages 20 to 39. The Hawaii Jaycees, started in 1943, gives local members the opportunity to envision and execute such projects, learning through hands-on experience. No other organization offers that.
Jaycees alumni include former President Bill Clinton, banker Walter Dods, state Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland and numerous others, who all acknowledge the huge impact being a Jaycee has had on their lives. The Jaycees gave them their first chance to take on challenges, backed by the full support of their fellow members.
The Hawaii Jaycees has played a vital role locally, creating such institutions as the Aloha Festivals, 50th State Fair and Hawaii Blood Bank.
That spirit continues to serve our Islands today in projects such as Adopt-A-School Day.
What is school adoption all about? On Adopt-A-School Day, participating groups go out to their adopted school(s) and put in a full day’s work. On previous AASDs, work included planting flowers, trees and other landscaping projects, delivering school supplies, and long-overdue painting of school buildings, playgrounds and parking lots.
In 2009, the Hawaii Jaycees was able to get almost 40 Hawaii schools adopted across every county. This year we will hold AADS on Oct. 10 - 10/10/10 - and we’re determined to get 100 schools across Hawaii adopted by local organizations, businesses and groups of all kinds.
Offering Parents A Support ‘Line’
Wednesday - May 26, 2010 Share
By Flavia Francesquini, Phone Specialist
The Parent Line
When JC called The Parent Line to ask about potty training, she got more than she imagined she would. As a young mom and a newcomer to the Islands, she was struggling with the demands of raising a toddler without a support network. The Parent Line was able to offer her several suggestions as to where she could meet other moms in her area. She also was told how to apply for health insurance and a subsidy for child care. And, of course, she got a lot of information on potty training as well!
The Parent Line is a new program offered by Hawaii’s oldest and largest nonprofit, Child & Family Service. This free statewide telephone line offers an array of services that aim to benefit all local families by educating those in contact with young children and preventing child abuse.
There is no “book of rules” when it comes to parenting. Each family is made of a unique mixture of temperaments, personalities, difficulties and strengths, and The Parent Line staff understands that each caller is an individual with a distinctive dilemma.
The Parent Line can help you find play groups and parenting classes. We can refer you to social services and support groups. We also can offer confidential advice regarding behavior or developmental issues such as toilet training, school readiness, teen transitions and discipline, as well as family concerns such as deployment, divorce and blending families.
Parent support groups are held monthly at our Ewa Beach office and are a chance for parents to obtain and exchange information and meet other families. This is a non-judgmental connection that aims simply to assist you in making educated decisions about your family.
Through funding provided by Department of Health’s Maternal Child Health Branch, we hope to promote a safe, confidential and informative network that can both inform and support our community. On Oahu, call The Parent Line at 526-1222 or toll-free from the Neighbor Islands, 1-800-816-1222. The Parent Line hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. You also can visit our Web site at www.theparentline.org.
For information on other Child & Family Service programs, call 681-3500.
Promoting The Inclusion Of All
Wednesday - May 19, 2010 Share
By Sandra Yoro, Executive Director
Special Education Center of Hawaii
The Special Education Center of Hawaii was founded in 1965 as a school for children with special needs and incorporated in 1968 by Sister Agnes Jerome Murphy, S.N.D.
In the early 1990s, SECOH embarked on a journey to decentralize its very large, hidden and segregated day care operations at the former Waimano Training School and Hospital facility. The organization has since evolved from a single school into a human-service agency providing a broad range of home- and community-based services for not only people with disabilities, but for our growing elderly population.
As a private, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) agency, SECOH operates five community centers for those with special needs and the elderly in Kalihi, Pearl City, Waipahu, Ewa Beach and Wahiawa.
Our day care services include door-to-door transportation to and from our centers, as well as incidental transportations (i.e., to the mall, park, etc.). In addition to partnering with Handi-Van and Vanpool Hawaii, we have a small fleet of privately owned, wheel-chair-accessible vehicles. There are no fees associated with this service.
People do not realize that our community centers are major contributors to the communities in which they operate. We pay fair-market rent values at the majority of our centers; purchase 125-150 meals per day from local restaurants and markets; shop for activity supplies on a daily basis, and frequent movies theaters, bowling alleys and other recreational attractions every day.
We also feel it is important to give back to those even less fortunate than our clientele. We encourage our day care customers to volunteer at churches, nursing homes, homeless shelters and food banks.
We currently have a wait list at most of our community day care centers. We are very particular when it comes to site selection. We don’t want to be hidden away in somebody else’s basement or backyard, even if it is rent-free.
Through a very generous award from the May Templeton Hopper Fund through the Hawaii Community Foundation, SECOH is able to provide day care tuition assistance to folks 65 years and older who demonstrate financial need. We are so fortunate during this soft economy to actually be able to provide this type of assistance to needy families. To obtain an application, contact Crystal (739-2745), Tenney (734-0233, ext. 310) or Cynthia (488-8884).
For further information, visit our Web site: www.secoh.org.
Keiki Get A Head Start For School
Wednesday - May 12, 2010 Share
By MiChelle Chavis, Program Coordinator
‘Ekolu ‘Eha ‘Ike Pono
‘Ekolu ‘Eha ‘Ike Pono (EEIP) is a collaborative project funded by Aloha United Way and provided under the direction of Learning Disabilities Association of Hawaii.
We began in 2009 as a pilot project reaching out to 3- and 4-year-old children and their families in the WaianaeNanakuli area.
This year we are expanding the project into other areas of Oahu, as funding allows.
Our screening associates provide free developmental, social, emotional, and hearing and vision screenings to improve school readiness for children entering kindergarten. Parents are provided free training and information about the screenings, developmental milestones and preparing their child for school.
If a child is referred from the screening, our case manager will help the parent obtain further evaluation and other support or service that may be needed.
When Gavin was 3 years old, he was identified as having a vision problem by our screening associate. Our case manager helped his mom, Celia, arrange for further assessment, and our parent educator gave Celia helpful information regarding her son and his needs.
Gavin now sports a handsome pair of glasses that match his outgoing personality. He’s currently 4 years old and will be entering kindergarten in the fall. When asked, “Are you ready for kindergarten?” Gavin replies, “Yep, I’m ready for Makaha Elementary.”
Please join us at EEIP’s inaugural Keiki Health Fair on Thursday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ka’aha’aina Dining Hall on the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center campus. Bring your 3- and 4-year-old to be screened at this event.
For more information about ‘Ekolu ‘Eha ‘Ike Pono, go to our Web site, www.ldahawaii.org, or call 696-5361.
Lawyers Provide Justice For All
Wednesday - May 05, 2010 Share
By Hugh Jones, Bar President
Hawaii State Bar Association
In 1989, I began working with the Attorney General’s office because of the opportunity to make a real impact on society. I’ve also been involved with the Hawaii State Bar Association for 20 years. But this year will be the most memorable: As the 2010 HSBA president, I am honored to be the first government lawyer elected to the post.
The HSBA has been supporting Hawaii’s legal community for more than 110 years. We currently serve more than 7,000 attorneys with the goal of uniting and inspiring Hawaii’s lawyers to promote justice for all.
Hundreds of volunteer attorneys conduct a variety of projects to benefit HSBA members and the public. Our Young Lawyers Division, for example, headed by Lisa Nakahara, recently sponsored the state high school Mock Trial competition, which teaches students about the legal process. Twenty teams competed statewide with lawyers serving as coaches and judges. The winning team from Moanalua High School will represent Hawaii in the national competition in May.
Also in May, HSBA and YLD volunteers will celebrate Law Day with various activities. On Saturday, May 8, neighborhood legal clinics will be held at 13 locations across the state. Volunteers will be available to discuss legal issues and ways to access legal help with members of the public. Our Legal Hotline is available daily May 2-8 to take public calls regarding legal issues and access/recommendations. Find out more at www.hsba.org.
Only one quarter has gone by, but already we have been busy with community programs and more outreach efforts. Meanwhile, we’re implementing several regulatory requirements such as mandatory education programs and participating in judicial selections. My hope is that all lawyers - including government lawyers - will recognize the value of participating in HSBA’s programs and help the public better understand the important work they do.
Moving Toward An Arthritis Cure
Wednesday - April 28, 2010 Share
By Dianne Ward, Executive Director
Arthritis Foundation Hawaii Branch
The Arthritis Foundation has been in Hawaii since 1964. Our largest goal locally is to provide programs and educational presentations to help people suffering with arthritis.
We really want people to understand how arthritis affects an individual. A friend of mine who suffers from arthritis described his pain to me as a really bad toothache - but all over your body.
What people don’t realize about arthritis is that it affects kids too. Tyler Holcomb, our 2010 Youth Honoree, is an 11-year-old boy who suffers from juvenile anky-losing spondylitis and is an excellent example of keeping a positive attitude throughout his experiences with arthritis.
Our 2010 Hawaii “Parade of Passion” Arthritis Walk, which takes place on Sunday, May 2, from 6 to 11 a.m. at Ward Centers, is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to find a cure for this disease.
Participants are invited to bring their families, friends and pets to the parade to show their support. Donations raised by individuals or teams will benefit the lives of 236,000 adults and keiki in Hawaii who are currently living with arthritis. After the parade, we will have live entertainment, an interactive Keiki Zone with games and activities, educational vendor/sponsor booths, free snacks for participants, and even a Doggie Den, which allows you to register your friendly, pack-loving dogs to join the fun. We’ll have dog info, free bandanas for all registered dogs, activities and even adoptable dogs present.
We encourage people to be at our AF Walk supporting their local ohana who have arthritis, whom we call heroes. All attending heroes will receive a blue cap and access to The Hero Hut.
There still is time to register at www.hawaiiAFwalk.org. We also have a Facebook page, and you can follow us on Twitter @ArthritisHawaii. We will be doing updates all the way through the walk, with pictures throughout the day, too.
For complete information about the Arthritis Foundation, visit www.arthritis.org.
Athletes Show Hope Does Float
Wednesday - April 21, 2010 Share
By Kaia Hedlund, Executive Director/Founder
Swim With Mike Hawaii
Swim With Mike Hawaii, a swim-a-thon fundraiser, is celebrating its sixth year in the Islands and invites the whole family to dive in and get wet for a great cause.
Originating at the University of Southern California in 1981 as a one-time fundraiser for Mike Nyeholt, a three-time All-American swimmer who became paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle accident earlier that year, Swim With Mike has become an annual fundraiser for the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. It provides scholarships to students who have overcome life-challenging accidents or illnesses.
Nearly $10 million has been raised over the past 30 years, providing 92 scholarship recipients tuition, fees and financial assistance to 34 universities throughout the nation.
At this year’s event, which takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 24, at UH Manoa’s Duke Kahanamoku pool, scholarships will be awarded to three disabled athletes from Hawaii:
Mililani native Ann Yoshida is a graduate student in rehabilitation counseling and speech pathology at Utah State University. Ann became a paraplegic after a car accident; prior to her accident, she was active in multiple sports. Despite her disability, Ann is still an avid athlete.
Fulutusi Mailo, a North Shore native, was an all-state linebacker for Kahuku High School. After suffering a bodysurfing accident, Tusi was left paralyzed. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at BYUH.
Joe Broc, a lifelong Sunset Beach resident and Kahuku High graduate, was born with spina bifida. His disability has not affected his vibrant spirit, and he has participated in multiple canoe clubs over the last decade. Joe is pursing a bachelor’s degree in marine sciences at HPU.
The UH Athletics Department will cosponsor the swim, and athletes from UH, BYUH, Chaminade and HPU will participate in entertaining relays. Event highlights will include a surfboard water polo match and a diving exhibition. You can swim, too, or just enjoy the festivities at this free event!
For more information, visit www.swimwithmike.org.
Making Dreams Come True
Wednesday - April 14, 2010 Share
By Suzan Forbes, President
The Forbes Foundation
The Forbes Foundation was established in 1998 as a Hawaii-based, invested 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing timely assistance to individuals who are attempting to improve their lives. In fact, our humble beginnings started as a college independent study project.
At the time, the average personal computer cost more than $3,000, which placed computer ownership far beyond the reach of those with average or below-average incomes. I created the Forbes Foundation and began a quest to refurbish computers for those who were attempting to improve their lives but were inhibited due to a lack of financial assistance.
Our goal is societal improvement through the encouragement of positive cultural values.
Today, the Forbes Foundation successfully works with teachers, professors and community members for recommendations on eligibility.
We also assist the state of Hawaii’s Girls Court, training young women to understand and effectively use a computer. Ultimately, the computers are given as a gift so that they can confidently move forward and compete in today’s fast-paced technological environment.
Many of you may have heard about the Dream Home in Paradise fundraiser, offering any adult 18 years and older an opportunity to win a brand-new home on Oahu. Well, for every gift of $25 given to the Forbes Foundation, we offer one chance to receive a home valued at nearly $600,000! The proceeds go back to select Rotary clubs and the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, which will spend it on an array of much-needed health and community solutions.
Should you decide to take part in the Dream Home in Paradise fundraiser, please visit us at: www.ForbesFoundationHawaii.org Click on “Order Tickets.”
You’ll ultimately be taking part in Hawaii’s future.
Quality Service For A Quality Life
Wednesday - April 07, 2010 Share
By Kim Golis, Program Director
Waipahu Aloha Clubhouse
As the applause dims, her smile continues to beam as she proudly proclaims, “I have been working for four years and 16 days.” Roenne Kam announced at the last Waipahu Aloha Clubhouse employer dinner that her success is attributed to the support she receives from the Clubhouse and the wonderful employers in the community.
Waipahu Aloha Clubhouse is a unique member-driven psychiatric program for adults living with mental illness. Founded in 1997, Waipahu Aloha Clubhouse is the largest and most established Clubhouse in Hawaii.
Since its inception, more than 575 members are reclaiming and restoring their lives as well as having a higher quality of life. The Clubhouse focuses on the strengths and abilities of each individual instead of the diagnosis or symptoms of the illness. Members and staff operate the Clubhouse together and achieve goals through meaningful work, positive relationships and gainful employment.
One of our greatest challenges is providing employment for our membership. With more than 100 members attending daily, we are unable to keep up with the employment needs of our members.
As member Poao Westerlund states: “I love my work at Aiea High School. It’s not the money I’m after, it’s about the work. I cannot wait to go to work each week. I feel satisfied, and it gives me a sense of fulfillment and takes my mind off of drugs, alcohol and my mental illness.” Poao attributes his new outlook on life to the fact that he is an active member at the Clubhouse.
In order to continue providing quality services, we depend on the support from our community. We need volunteers to assist at the Clubhouse in our educational and vocational program, and we are looking for employers with part-time jobs.
We also need golfers and volunteers on Tuesday, April 27, at our second annual Benefit Golf Challenge at Waikele Golf Club.
Our partnership with the community is the key to our success. We welcome calls for more information and tours of our Clubhouse. Please contact us at 675-0093 or visit our Web site at www.waipahuclubhouse.com.
Goodwill Shows Kids A Good Way
Wednesday - March 31, 2010 Share
By Laura Robertson, President/CEO
Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, Inc.
When Zsasha entered Goodwill’s Ola I Ka Hana youth services program, she almost seemed like a stereotypical high school dropout. She was from a broken home, had been regularly truant at school, hung out with a rough crowd and was dabbling in drugs. Through the guidance and personalized approach of Goodwill’s Ola I Ka Hana staff, Zsasha’s creative talent as an artistically gifted photographer was discovered and fostered.
She is now attending the prestigious Academy of Art University in California and looks forward to a bright future.
Zsasha is one of the thousands of success stories to come out of Goodwill’s 30 employment and training programs each year.
Goodwill Industries of Hawaii Inc. is celebrating its 50th anniversary of serving Hawaii’s employment and training needs. Since the time it was incorporated in the Territory of Hawaii, Goodwill has responded to the ever-changing employment needs of our island community and adapted our services to provide relevant and responsive programs and services.
Throughout the years, our commitment has remained helping people reach their full potential through the power of work and to become more self-sufficient through training. Goodwill’s employment and placement programs provide job training, career development and employment for low-income individuals who need assistance achieving their goals of successful employment. Our professional staff served 11,959 people last year and helped 1,866 people find jobs in our community.
In addition to providing crucial revenue to support our mission, Goodwill’s retail and commercial services division provides employment and onthe-job training opportunities for people who benefit from work experience prior to seeking community employment. Fueled by generous donations of gently used clothing and household items, Goodwill Stores provide a fun way to shop “green” while stretching your dollar.
We appreciate the continued support of Goodwill’s employment-centered mission and for making it possible to provide our quality career development and education services across our island state. These programs have been instrumental in helping people like Zsasha achieve their educational and career goals on the road to self-sufficiency.
To reach Goodwill with questions or for more information, just call 836-WORK (9675) or visit our newly redesigned Web site at www.higoodwill.org.
Together, we can say: We see the good. We see the will. Goodwill works.
A Place You Can Go To Belong
Wednesday - March 24, 2010 Share
By Jim Yates, Chairman
The YMCA of Honolulu
Dana is a 16-year-old high school student who began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Realizing that her life was going nowhere, she got involved with the YMCA of Honolulu’s outreach program, which teaches young people about the effects of substance abuse through working with kids her age and YMCA counselors.
Through YMCA financial assistance, Lori, a single working mother, has been able to provide her two young sons with after-school care, school-break programs and summer day camp for the last four years.
Thirteen years ago, John underwent quintuple bypass surgery. “I’m grateful to be healthy and alive with my wife Betty of 49 years,” John says today. “We have been homeless for 24 years, and our finances are extremely limited. It is because of the YMCA’s assistance that I get to exercise daily, socialize and know that we are safe and cared for.”
The mission-driven YMCA is “a place to belong” and to live the values that guide and unite our members: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
For more than 140 years, the YMCA has been providing life-changing and life-saving opportunities for kids and adults through after-school, teen leadership, summer day camp, swimming and water safety, and health and wellness programs.
In order to serve people like Dana, Lori, John and Betty, the YMCA of Honolulu’s Strong Communities Annual Support Campaign, a volunteer-driven effort, solicits contributions to support outreach programs and provides financial assistance to children, teens, adults, seniors and families who need it most. Our goal is to raise $900,000 to provide financial assistance for people from all income levels in order to participate in YMCA programs, as well as to subsidize much-needed and under-funded youth and teen programs.
My commitment to this organization continues because I sincerely believe that the YMCA’s theme of “building strong kids, strong families and strong communities” represents a key cornerstone for any vibrant and sustainable community. I’ve also personally witnessed the sound stewardship that is exercised over the money that we raise for the organization, with 100 percent of funds staying here on Oahu.
Few things are more important than a healthy lifestyle, strong community, positive role models and quality time spent together as a family. For more information on the YMCA, go to www.ymcahonolulu.org or call 531-YMCA (531-9622).
Teeing Off To Aid Chefs In Training
Wednesday - March 17, 2010 Share
By Tom Mullen, Chairman
Hale ‘Aina ‘Ohana
The culinary nonprofit Hale ‘Aina ‘Ohana, founded in 1998, trains and educates local culinary students by providing access to cutting-edge knowledge and techniques. Working in collaboration with the state’s community college culinary programs, the ‘Ohana coordinates special programs featuring local and visiting chefs - bringing professionals directly to the students - on topics as diverse as ahi, island beef, palate development and artisan bread.
Island chefs such as Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong, George Mavrothalassistis, Hiroshi Fukui and Rodney Weddle are among the ‘Ohana’s roster of presenters. Also tapped are Mainland and international culinary experts, including Chef Charles Phan from The Slanted Door in San Francisco, who will present a workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. March 31 at Kapiolani Community College.
Other resources available to students include a Farm to Kitchen educational DVD produced by the ‘Ohana, which introduces students to local farmers who produce ingredients for the restaurant kitchen, and Master Classes for working chefs emphasizing kitchen techniques, cost control, wine service and sauce preparation.
Our programming reaches more than 2,500 culinary students and professionals annually.
Culinary students take notice when an award-winning chef explains the importance of fundamentals, hard work and goal-setting. This approach contributes to many culinary success stories.
One exciting example is that of a community college culinary graduate who volunteered to assist famed chef Jonathan Benno of Per Se Restaurant NYC at a Hale ‘Aina ‘Ohana workshop. The experience led to a culinary internship and full-time position at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Napa Valley, Calif. She said it would not have been possible without Hale ‘Aina ‘Ohana programming: “Every workshop enhanced my professional development.”
The Hale ‘Aina ‘Ohana golf tournament on April 19 is the main fundraiser for this unique nonprofit, when Hawaii’s leading chefs, educators, hospitality professionals, food/beverage distributors and vendors join together for a fun day of charity golf at Kapolei Golf Course.
For more information on the tournament, chef presentations, programs or to make a donation to the ‘Ohana, visit www.haleainaohana.org.
A Positive Place For Boys & Girls
Wednesday - March 10, 2010 Share
By Claudia “Lala” Fernandez,
Program Director, NFL Youth Education Town Hawaii
Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii
Victoria was your typical teenager on the edge. She was a great kid with good intentions, but was slowly slipping into a downward spiral of fighting in school and bringing home poor grades. Through our Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii teen outreach program, we brought Victoria into our clubhouse as a member.
Since then she has blossomed! Participating in our teen club activities, she realized fighting was unnecessary and found new motivation to better her grades in school. She set long-term goals for herself and was willing to work hard for it.
She shared that if it were not for the staff caring about her, she would still be that typical teenager on the edge.
Victoria is just one of many thousands of heartwarming stories of how the BGCH has positively impacted our keiki. For more than 30 years, the BGCH has developed programs and opportunities for the keiki’s whole well-being, including homework assistance, physical activities and sports, involvement in community service, and team building and leadership training opportunities.
Known as “The Positive Place for Kids,” we have 12 BGCH’s clubhouses and out-reach sites on Oahu and Kauai providing programs six days a week for keiki 7 to 17 years old - all for just $1 a year! On the Leeward side of Oahu, we offer three clubhouse facilities: Hale Pono in Ewa, a clubhouse in Waianae and the NFL Youth Education Town Center Hawaii in Nanakuli.
We invite the community to support our mission by signing up for our fundraiser, the fifth annual Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Honu Race. Three-thousand rubber honu are available for adoption for the big race, scheduled for Saturday, March 20, at Wet ‘n’Wild Hawaii. Tickets cost just $23 and include an all-day admission to the water park and an adopted honu to race for prizes.
Tickets must be bought in advance and are available through March 17 online at http://www.bgch.com or at any of our Leeward clubhouses: Hale Pono Ewa Beach Clubhouse, 689-4182; NFLYouth Education Town Hawaii Nanakuli Clubhouse, 668-9399; or Waianae Clubhouse, 696-2754.
Giving Families A Healthy Start
Wednesday - March 03, 2010 Share
By Jackie Berry, MPH, Executive Director
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii (HMHB) is a 25-year-old small, local nonprofit agency and part of a national network of organizations and individuals committed to improving maternal, child and family health through education, advocacy and coordination.
We model a strong coalition approach for public and private partnership projects that work to improve perinatal health. Over the years, HMHB has worked on many projects, including promoting planned pregnancies, improving access to healthcare and addressing concerns around substance abuse.
One of the rewarding achievements was playing a pivotal role in the establishment of The Path Clinic. It is the only comprehensive perinatal addiction clinic in Hawaii, and it began providing services in April 2006 through funds obtained by HMHB. Since opening, more than 160 women from all areas of Oahu have received services, and 78 women have delivered babies with the clinic.
The birth outcomes of women who receive services at The Path Clinic are far better than average state and national outcomes for all births - despite the high risk for adverse birth outcomes these women face because of poverty, being a racial minority, high rates of medical comorbid conditions (multiple chronic conditions) and substance abuse. Pregnancy provides a “teachable moment,” and these women are working to improve their lives with the help of clinic staff.
Our only direct service is Mothers Care, a free confidential telephone line, to offer information and referrals to women on prenatal care, pregnancy testing services, medical insurance, the Women Infants and Children Food program and more.
The number for our Mothers Care line is 951-6660 on Oahu, 1-888-951-6661 on the Neighbor Islands. We also have a Web site, http://www.hmhb-hawaii.org, with many local resources.
Investing In Hawaii’s Future
Wednesday - February 24, 2010 Share
By Nancy Aleck, Executive Director
Hawaii People’s Fund
What future do you want for Hawaii in the coming generations? Hawaii People’s Fund is an active partnership of people who want social change and can make it happen! We focus on a just, equitable and sustainable society.
Established in 1972, this community-based public foundation supports and encourages work at the grassroots level for social justice and progressive change. Hawaii People’s Fund raises money from people who care about a better future.
Donations are invested in grants to local community organizations working for a better future.
Decades ago, the activists of Save Sandy Beach Association, Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana and People Against Chinatown Evictions led successful campaigns helped in part with grants from Hawaii People’s Fund. More recently, Hawaii People’s Fund grants have funded board training for Molokai Habitat for Humanity, tenant organizing to build a playground at Mayor Wright’s housing, a free public movie series in Hilo and support for mental health consumer-advocates on Maui.
Our grant-making committee reviews proposals twice a year. Decisions for spring grants will be made in April. How much we can distribute depends on individual contributions.
You can create change! Learn more at ChangeNotCharity.org - an interactive Web site with a community calendar of events, videos, photos and dozens of links to our many grantees. Sign up for our newsletter and be inspired by the work of amazing groups on every island.
In 2009 Hawaii People’s Fund facilitated more than $130,000 in grant awards throughout the Islands. Online donations are easy, secure and greatly appreciated. Any size donation is your investment in a better Hawaii for all of us.
Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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