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 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.

Central Pacific Bank is collecting school supplies throughout July. Pictured (from left) are CPB employees Veronica Ramaila, Ella Grande, Marieflor Agustin, Reiko Amaral, Lea Damo, Katherine Jumalon and Katherine Tatlonghari. Photo courtesy of CPB

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


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