Improving Lives At Easter Seals

By Kathy Harper
Wednesday - January 20, 2010 Share

By Kathy Harper, Director of Development
Easter Seals Hawaii

Founded in 1946, Easter Seals Hawaii is one of the state’s oldest and most respected nonprofit organizations serving thousands of infants, children, youths and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. We believe that everyone is entitled equal opportunity to live, work and play in their communities. Our diverse programs and services are designed to support the pursuit of dignity, self-determination and the highest quality of life.

Many ESH participants benefit from Early Intervention services (speech therapy, physical therapy) and develop to where they no longer need our support.


Others with more complicated challenges find advantages from our Youth Services programs (extended school day, camping, art therapy, recreational opportunities).

And for those with lifelong challenges, our Adult Day Health and Community-Based Services (visual scheduling supports, work-force/enterprise development, life skills) are highly beneficial.

Don Robbs presents the Easter Seals Hawaii Advocacy Award to Brian Kajiyama, who will serve as honorary co-chair of the nonprofit’s annual fund drive next month with companion dog Zeus

Throughout a participant’s lifetime, success can take different forms: reaching key developmental milestones in early childhood, learning how to paint or take photographs, spending the night away from home for the first time or earning a first paycheck. Most “able-bodied” people take such things for granted. For Alex, who communicates through his computer and is earning a Ph.D. at UH, and for Kris, who cannot speak or hear and is thriving as an artist, nothing is ever taken for granted.

People may feel that, due to our size and state contracts, ESH is not in need of phil-anthropic support. In fact, fundraising income is vital to our financial health and our ability to offer much-needed programs and services across the state.

Next month we launch our 2010 annual fund drive, which kicks off Feb. 21 with Walk & Roll at Kapiolani Park.

We invite everyone to help us create solutions and change lives for those with disabilities! More information may be found at or by calling 536-1015.


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