Hawaii Edition
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Supporting Change for the Better

Hawaii is filled with beauty and rich in culture. We also face stark poverty where many people are faced with hardship and strife and need help to change their circumstances. There are many organizations in Hawaii that are working diligently to make our islands a better, more sustainable and safer place to live. We want to highlight just a few that stand out — they are also distribution sites for Natural Awakenings Hawaii magazine.

Key Project:  Celebrating 50 years serving the well-being of the Kuoloa-He`ei area of Oahu, the Key Project is rooted in cultural, environmental, social economic and recreational pursuits. Their multi-purpose community center in Kaneohe provides an excellent location for social gatherings, family parties, business conferences and classes. They collaborate with the Hawaii Food Bank and the Honolulu Community Action Program to hold two food distributions each month. They also host a complimentary breakfast on Wednesdays and Fridays to provide area seniors with a welcoming place to socialize, learn new skills and connect with community. Their after school Holomua program for young teens provides students with skills to enhance and experience a connection to Hawaiian culture and the `aina (land). The Huliāmahi educational program offers an innovative educational approach based on traditional knowledge of the `aina and kanaka (people of the land). Location: 47-200 Waihe`e Road, Kaneohe. 808-239-5777. To learn more, visit KeyProject.org.

Kahumana Organic Farm & Café: Nestled in the fertile valley of the Waianae mountain range, Kahumana’s mission is to create a healthy, inclusive and productive farm-based community with homeless families, people with disabilities and youth. The Kahumana Community is a multi-faceted, non-profit organization that consists of an organic farm, café, retreat and learning center, a day program for adults with developmental disabilities and transitional housing for the homeless. To learn more, visit Kahumana.org.

YMCA of Honolulu: For over 140 years, the Y has been responding to the communities' most critical social needs and connecting diverse populations through key programs and services. Founded in 1869, the Y is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the state with programs focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Their programs and services are available to children, teens, women and men of all ages. Their core values are caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. The Y offers island-wide membership for individuals and families. To learn more, visit YMCAHonolulu.org.

Hawaii State Public Library System: Our libraries hold a wealth of knowledge, programs and support for the people of Hawaii. They’re quiet places where people can go to read, learn, research and refresh. It’s heartwarming to go into a local library and see families enjoying programs, picking up reference materials and books and just taking the time to surround themselves with a serene place of knowledge. They offer story times, teen programs, educational workshops and more. Natural Awakenings Hawaii can be found at all the library locations on Oahu and the Big Island. To learn more, visit LibrariesHawaii.org

Waikiki Community Center (WCC): This multigenerational community center has been providing services for all Waikiki residents for over 40 years. Their goal is to serve as a hub for the community by providing programs and services to individuals and families in need. Through their various services they offer social support, lifelong education, and wellness to help people be healthy, safe, and prosperous. In addition to their preschool program, they offer an emergency food pantry each Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., except holidays. They also offer senior assistance services Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. by appointment, to handle a range of issues that seniors face. Location: 310 Paoakalani Avenue, Honolulu, 808-923-1802. To learn more about Waikiki Community Center, visit WaikikiCommunityCenter.org.

Kids Hurt Too Hawaii: KHTH works with children, youth and caregivers that are grieving. Whether a child’s parent has died, been deployed, is incarcerated or has been involved in a divorce, that child will grieve. Children that have been exposed to abuse, neglect, domestic violence or crime will also grieve. KHTH provides a safe place for children to connect with others, to tell their stories and express their feelings of loss, fear, anger, and confusion. They also provide support for caregivers. Location: 245 N. Kukui St., Suite 203, Honolulu. To learn more, call 808-545-5683 or visit, KidsHurtToo.org.


Karen Charron is a freelance writer living on Oahu and a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Hawai`i.

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