In these tough economic times, with stocks tumbling and prices soaring, most people are focused on their own bottom line. That's completely understandable. But just because things are tight, that doesn't mean those less fortunate are any less needyin fact, quite the opposite.
OK, OK I get it, you say. You've convinced me. But to whom should I give, and what do they need? Well, like a team of diminutive Arctic toymakers, we're here to help. As we do every year around the holidays, we've compiled a list of local charities and nonprofits and highlighted a few of the items that sit atop their respective wish lists. A lot of the stuff they need isn't too expensive; you may have some of it lying around your house gathering dust.
So go aheadgive. It won't raise the Dow, but it'll lift somebody's spirits. And that might be even better. - JS
Ohana Makamae, Inc. (OMI), a 501c-3, was formed to become Hana's first and only "Family Resource Center" in April 1999. Over the last nine years, OMI has established itself as a valuable and trusted community resource, a place where no family's troubles are too great or too small to receive attention. The organization's mission is "to strengthen the families of the Hana District through the practice of Hawaiian culture and spiritual values." They offer substance abuse outpatient treatment and counseling for adults and adolescents, drug screening, parenting education, individual and family counseling, a sober living home, infant and toddler day care and workforce development services.
Infant changing table (2)
Double stroller (2)
Love seat sofa
Riding toys (ages 1-3)
Kitchen play set
Tea table/chair set
Bean bag chairs (2-3)
New carpeting (for our OMI office)
Contact: U'ilani Phillips-Tehiva, Development Director, 39 Keanini St., P.O. Box 914, Hana, HI 96713. Call 248-8538 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Offering a helping hand to Maui County, including Lanai and Molokai, they offer food, clothing, rent and utility assistance and work to ensure the holiday needs and wants of Maui's children are met.
Red kettle participation
Angel tree adoptions
Toys and clothing (newborn-17 yrs.)
School backpacks and school supplies
Food for food pantry
Blankets for the homeless
Your prayers of support
Contact: Capt. Mark Merritt or Kathy Merritt, Corps Officers of the Kahului Church & Social Services. Call 871-6270.
Support the Lahainaluna school community by providing opportunities and resources, and assist in preserving and perpetuating Lahainaluna's unique history, culture and traditions. The oldest school west of the Rockies, Lahainaluna also has the oldest, and one of the nation's only free, public school boarding programs. Since 2002, the Foundation has provided the school with over $400,000 in grants, $160,000 in scholarships, and $335,000 to athletics, arts and culture projects and programs. Future plans include bringing a multi-use stadium and performing arts center to the LHS community.
Financial support for scholarship, library, performing arts center, stadium and other school and student projects
Volunteers for various committees and special events
Gift certificates for goods or services for Mercedes Golf Tournament Silent Auction
Contact: Diane Delos Reyes, Executive Director. Call 661-5332, fax 661-1737, e-mail LHSFoundation@hawaiiantel.net, or visit www.lahainalunahighschoolfoundation.com.
They provide services that prepare individuals and families for a successful transition to self-sufficient living in the community. The Maui Farm provides an independent living program for young women aged 18-22, as well as a family-strengthening program that helps those who are homeless because of domestic violence or economic issues. Located in Makawao, the Maui Farm offers its farm-based experiential activities program and life skills training in health ohana living, which provides youth and families with opportunities for growing and healing. The Maui Farm provides positive experiences with plants and animals for people who really need them.
Large dining room table and chairs that seats 8-10 people (sturdy and in good condition)
Gardening tools for adults and children
Affordable rental housing (Upcountry) for program graduates
Gift cards for special occasions for program participants
Contact: Paula Ambre, Executive Director. Call 579-8271, fax 579-9055, e-mail email@example.com.
With a mission to teach and facilitate appropriate dispute resolution for people of all ages, MSM handles a wide variety of conflicts for families, neighborhoods, businesses and government agencies. They bring people together to find their own best solutions, a process that promotes respect, communication and peace.
60-inch wooden round pedestal table
$10-$25 gift cards for volunteer appreciation
Contact: Leilani Kelper, Case Manager, 95 Mahalani St., Ste. 25, Wailuku, HI 96793. Call 244-5744, fax 249-0905, or visit www.mauimediation.org.
Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center encourages the Maui community to unlock its creativity through art education. Throughout the year, the Hui offers adult classes in ceramics, printmaking, photography, jewelry, painting and fiber art. The Hui's programs for children ages 3-17 allow Maui's youngest artists to develop their imaginations in a supportive learning environment. Besides diverse classes, the Hui supports education outreach programs, holds several annual exhibitions and brings world-class visiting artists to Maui to teach and give lectures. Together these many opportunities promote individual expression, effective communication and innovative thinkingvalues that profoundly shape and enrich our community.
Funds for scholarships
Digital cameras for children's classes
New or gently used children's games or toys
Office desks and chairs
Small standing steel garment rack
Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop elements programs
Mac OSX compatible film scanner
File cabinet no bigger than 15 inches in length
Tablecloths for 6-foot tables
Contact: 572-6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their mission is simple and profound: to promote appreciation, understanding and protection of whales, dolphins, coral reefs and our planet's oceans. They support and conduct responsible marine research and address marine conservation issues in Hawaii and the Pacific through programs such as the "Be Whale Aware" campaign to prevent vessel/whale collisions and the "Butts Off the Beach" campaign to end cigarette butt litter. They also offer marine education programs to Maui school children, locals and visitors.
Empty 35mm film canisters for the "Butts Off the Beach" program (they recycle them into portable ashtrays that are distributed free to smokers)
Volunteers to assist with events and programs
Contributions to their marine education fund to make it possible for all Maui school children to benefit from outdoor environmental education programs including whale watches and tide pool explorations
Contact: Kelly Vough, Program Director. Call 249-8811 (ext. 2) or e-mail email@example.com.
The Paia Youth & Cultural Center offers a variety of unique experiences for Maui's youth. PYCC members run the Stonewave Sk8park, the Paia Bay Cafι and RadiOpio, KOPO-LP 89.5 FM. The radio station and its parent Hekili Multimedia Lab offer unique media training programs. The PYCC works with youth throughout Maui's many communities to increase confidence, community awareness and life skills.
Sturdy pool table in good condition
LCD video projector with new or near-new bulb
High quality outdoor team sports equipment
High quality bodyboards
Contact: Emma Conant, Director of Operations. Call 579-8354.
Their mission is to strengthen families and foster the healthy development of children. In the past year, CFS served the needs of over 10,000 individuals from all communities within Maui County. The agency provides essential services such as domestic violence prevention and advocacy, sexual assault counseling and prevention, crisis mobile outreach and therapeutic foster homes.
Diapers, baby formula, baby food
School and office supplies
Dry and canned food pantry items
Paper products " paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, utensils
Contact: Michele Bagda, Office Manager. Call 877-9836.
Friends of the Maui Drug Court supports the Maui/Molokai Drug Court's efforts to break the cycle of substance abuse and crime in Maui County. Drug Court provides non-violent offenders the opportunity to avoid or minimize incarceration upon completion of an intensive, judicially supervised substance abuse treatment program. With a recidivism rate of only about 15 percent, Drug Court has proven itself to be a highly effective rehabilitative program. Friends of the Maui Drug Court provides critical services to Drug Court clients by funding graduation ceremonies, milestone awards, child care, dental work and more, in consultation with the Drug Court Judge and Drug Court Administrator.
Laptop computers (new or used)
Monthly bus passes for Drug Court clients
Gift certificates to be used as milestone awards
Contact: Friends of the Maui Drug Court, 33 Lono Ave., Ste. 300, Kahului, HI 96732.
Maui OnStage provides a unique blend of theater and performing arts experiences to the entire Maui community in a supportive, multicultural setting, as well as working to make the Iao Theater accessible and affordable to everyone.
Office supplies (white & colored paper)
Contact: Alexis Dascoulias, Executive Director. Call 244-8680 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping your dollars on Maui has a big impact
OK, you've given all you can to charitynow what? How do you continue to have a positive impact on the community even as you spend money on yourself and your loved ones?
The short answer: shop locally.
According to data from the economic analysis firm Civic Economics, 68 cents of every dollar spent at a locally owned business stays local, meaning that money circulates to other establishments rather than sailing off to the Mainland or some foreign destination. By contrast, only 43 cents of every dollar spent at a chain store sticks around. That extra 25 cents adds up fast.
How fast? Civic Economics estimates that if every reader of Maui Time promised to spend $100 at locally owned businesses over the holidays, the net effect would be $15 million staying right here. That's over $2 million more than if that money was spent at big box behemoths.
It's easy to feel hopeless about the economic situation, to throw up your hands and say "there's nothing I can do." So here's something you can do. Right now. Today.
Send an e-mail to email@example.com. Write "I pledge" in the body of the message, which we'll take as your promise to shop locally. Include your name, address and contact info and you'll be entered into a drawing to win a $1,000 gift certificate package donated by the very businesses you're promising to support.
So: money stays on Maui, locally owned businesses benefit, you get the chance to win some cool prizes and feel all warm and fuzzy while buying stuff. It's your classic win-win-win. - JS
Head Start provides quality preschool experiences to nearly 300 children in Maui County, with centers located on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The program works with children to build developmental skills and help them prepare for Kindergarden. They also work with families to promote self-reliance by providing systems of support. Head Start impacts the lives of children and their families nationwide and continues to make a difference for residents of Maui County.
Computers (desktop or laptop)
Contact: Debbi Amaral, MEO Director of Early Childhood Services. Call 249-2988.
While it's essential year round, food gains special importance around the holidays. So it's especially unfortunate that with the economic downturn, Maui Food Bank has seen donations drop off just when people need them the most. Through a network of 70 participating nonprofit organizations, Maui Food Bank collects, warehouses and distributes mass quantities of donated food; lend a hand and help feed the hungry.
Non-perishable food, especially canned meat, soups with protein, rice and pasta
Contact: Marlene Rice, development director, 760 Kolu St., Wailuku. Call 243-9500.
For two decades, Maui Tomorrow has been a strong voice in the community, speaking out for planning that delivers real benefits to Maui's families and respects the island's natural and cultural resources. They are proud advocates for quality community planning, the protection of cultural sites and native forests and the long-term sustainability of the island's environment and economy. Current projects include long-range sustainable planning, reef and shoreline protection, sustainable energy development, environmental review for Hawaii Superferry and the restoration of stream flow to both East and West Maui.
Tax deductible donations to support legal actions in both the Hawaii Superferry appeal and the restoration of stream flow to both East and West Maui
Contact: Irene Bowie, P.O. Box 299, Makawao, HI 96768. Call 579-9802 or visit www.maui-tomorrow.org.
This organization seeks nothing less than the end of domestic violence in our community. Their hotline received more than 15,000 calls last year and served over 20,000 meals in their shelter. They offer emergency shelter services, support, advocacy and education through services provided in their programs located in Wailuku, Lahaina and on Lanai. They also assist people in securing temporary restraining orders and provide court advocacy.
Clothes (infant/toddler sizes, rubber slippers of all sizes).
Gift cards for those at the shelter celebrating birthdays.
Cars in good running condition.
Power point projector.
Bunk beds, strong and durable.
Dinner, once a week, for 20 people.
Paint (any colors, other than white).
Volunteers to paint the kitchen and office.
Group or organization to "adopt a room."
Commercial strength dishwasher.
Contact: Cindy Cline, Deputy Director, 579-9696.
By holding events that feature speakers, documentary videos and direct participation, this non-profit arm of Maui Peace Action has sought to increase community awareness on a wide spectrum of issues including the war in Iraq and militarism and depleted uranium use in Hawaii. They conduct regular programs in local high schools to encourage students to seek careers in peacekeeping. They have also partnered with other local peace groups to promote events such as Give Peace a Dance, the War and Peace Art Exhibition and the annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration.
Volunteers, especially recent veterans
Contact: Chuck Carletta, Treasurer, P.O. Box 880231, Pukalani, HI 96788. Call 984-3305 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui, Haiku Unit, serve youth between the ages of 9-17 throughout Maui County for a yearly membership of just $5. They strive to teach members to become caring and responsible citizens through community service and various educational programs spanning the arts, sports and recreation and health and life skills.
Arts and crafts supplies
Sporting equipment (balls)
A big screen TV
Contact: Brandon Holokai, Haiku Unit Director. Call 575-9024 or e-mail Brandon@bgcmaui.org. MTW