Gift Keeps A Nonprofit Going Strong

Wednesday - April 16, 2008
By Kerry Miller
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A generous donation from the Pilot Club of Honolulu will help local nonprofit Kids Hurt Too (KHT) purchase books for children and families.

The Aiea- and Kaneohe-based program received $800 from the Pilot Club at its March membership meeting. KHT provides grief counseling and support to kids who have lost one or both parents to death, divorce or separation.

The Pilot Club of Honolulu promotes awareness of brain-related disorders through service, friendship and monetary donations to 501(c)(3) organizations.

“One of our members had heard about that particular project (KHT), and we were impressed with what they were trying to do,” said Merrily Burns, the Pilot Club’s president elect.“We did feel that it was a worthwhile project. We could at least help provide money for the workbooks that they need for the children.”

Cynthia White, executive director of KHT, said she didn’t expect the donation but is extremely grateful.

“I was very surprised,“she said.“They did invite me to talk about the program, and that was the first step. They asked at the time how can we help, and I gave them different ideas. It was really helpful to have additional support; it’s going to buy a lot of books and keep us going for the year.”

White explained that the money will be used on guidebooks for families to help children cope with death, workbooks for after suicide and books for area schools. KHT will pay for the books with the donation money and then give them to families and schools for free.

In addition to providing books for keiki, KHT also offers guidebooks to teach school administrators how to handle a crisis in the school as well as a curriculum package for counselors and teachers that features DVDs produced with local children in mind.

“(We provide) activities for kids that promote creative expression: Arts, crafts, music, a variety of things that engage that creative process and help them remember and stay connected to families,“said White.

Currently, Kids Hurt Too is borrowing space in Aiea and Kaneohe. White adds that the organization is working on opening up a facility in Chinatown at the Kukui building. At the new facility, they plan to offer more expanded services, she said.

In addition to its Honolulu chapter, the Pilot Club also has a Leeward branch. Both clubs mostly work independently, each with their own set of officers, but do collaborate from time to time. They’re both also under the wing of their parent organization, Pilot International.

“We help each other with some of our volunteer projects. They help with the tennis tournament, so there’s a give and take between the two,” said Burns.

The Pilot Club of Honolulu’s 20th annual Tennis Tournament is Aug. 8-10 at Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio, where players will compete in singles and doubles matches as part of the club’s only fundraiser. Half the event’s proceeds go toward their monthly projects, and half goes to the foundation itself. For more information, visit

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