2018 Beneficiaries


Family Promise of Hawaii has helped over 2,000 parents and children transition out of homelessness since 2006. Its mission is to mobilize existing community resources to aid families with children experiencing homelessness and help them transition to sustainable independence.

The organization will use its 2018 GIFT Foundation grant to build a new Emergency Shelter in the Wahiawa/Central Oahu area, where there currently are no resources. It will be the third Family Promise Emergency Shelter on Oahu, and provide laundry facilities, mail, showers, telephone, computer and internet access, daily meals, life skills training, employment assistance and weekly case management.

Family Promise of Hawaii serves one of Oahu’s most vulnerable populations: homeless families with children. The project will impact 24 families (85 individuals) in its first year, with a comprehensive approach that ensures a high success rate: in 2017, 85% of Family Promise’s Emergency Shelter guests were able to secure permanent housing and 100% maintained or secured employment while in the program.

Learn more at https://familypromisehawaii.org


Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii coordinates large scale coastal cleanups, educational programs, public awareness campaigns and facilitate other interested groups to run their own cleanups. Since its inception in 2011, SCH has brought together 21,688 volunteers to remove 349,738 pounds of debris from Hawaii’s coastlines and educated over 19,000 students about plastic pollution and coastal stewardship.

The organization will use its 2018 GIFT Foundation grant to retrofit its existing Education Station. Beach plastic collected during cleanups will be cleaned, chipped, extruded, and pelletized. Once pelletized, it can be heated in molds to create products imagined by Hawaii’s Keiki, such as sunglass frames, iPhone cases, and 3D printed-projects.

The project’s impact will be cleaner beaches, reduced burden on landfills and incinerators, and a replicable solution created in Hawaii that can be utilized elsewhere for the benefit the whole world. By integrating our youth into this process, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii will open minds, develop new ideas, and foster an entrepreneurial and empowered youth.

Learn more at http://sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org


Every day in Hawaiʻi, keiki are being sexually exploited for money. Hoʻōla Nā Pua
has four key program areas: Health, Education, Advocacy, and Reintegration, focusing on the
systematic change to prevent exploitation before it begins. Through its education and outreach
programs, Hoʻōla Nā Pua offers expertise in the issue of prevention of sexual exploitation, identification of victims, and response to sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The organization will use its 2018 GIFT Foundation grant to create a suite of guided digital education. This Core Curriculum digital suite will be an accredited set of tools that will help educate our children. These tools will be grade, age, development and Hawaiʻi specific.

The project’s impact will double Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s current reach of 2,500 students each year through prevention education. It will help our most vulnerable population – our keiki – recognize the signs and understand the dangers of sex trafficking.

Learn more at https://hoolanapua.org

Past Beneficiaries


THE ALLIANCE FOR DRAMA EDUCATION (ADE) is a non-profit dedicated to using the arts to help make a difference in today’s youth. T-Shirt Theatre (TST) is ADE’s flagship program and is a Community of Practice where youth from Farrington High School and Kalakaua and Dole Middle Schools come together around the practice of dramatic arts.
Learn more at http://rehearseforlife.com/ade/


“I AM A SCIENTIST”, Chaminade’s mobile STEM outreach program was created and developed by Chaminade researcher, Lori Shimoda, to inspire the next generation of scientists. Through this outreach program, Chaminade University research faculty visit Oahu elementary and middle schools with a need for increased STEM capacity to 2,000 children annually across 20 public schools.
Learn more at http://www.iamascientiststem.org/


EXPANDING PEER SUPPORT FOR NEIGHBOR ISLAND FAMILIES WITH SERIOUSLY ILL CHILDREN. The mission of HUGS is to strengthen Hawaii’s families and improve their quality of life as they face the emotional and financial hardships of caring for a seriously ill child. This year’s GIFT grant will allow HUGS to build a sustainable peer support system for families with a seriously ill child from our neighbor island communities.
Learn more at https://www.hugshawaii.org/

Na Kama Kai (NKK)

Nā Kama Kai [NKK] is a marine non-profit, established in 2008, to provide critical ocean education to Hawaiʻi’s youth. Guided by this vision, NKK’s mission is to empower youth by creating, conducting, and supporting ocean-based programs, specifically targeting ocean safety and conservation awareness.
Learn more at http://nakamakai.org

The Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders (CTL)

The Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders (CTL) was established in 2003 to engage, equip, and empower Hawaii’s youth to become tomorrow’s visionary leaders. With signature programs and resources, CTL identifies and trains teens with leadership potential through comprehensive, character-focused programs.
Learn more at http://centerfortomorrowsleaders.org

Hands In Helping Out (HIHO)

Founded in 2009 by three young professionals, Hands In Helping Out (HIHO) is dedicated to building a network of motivated volunteers and volunteer leaders who make a difference for the Hawai‘i community through service. We are the only non-profit in the state that focuses solely on volunteer engagement.
Learn more at Hands In Helping Out

CommunityU (KUPU Haaii)

KUPU Hawaii provides experiential education and job training opportunities to help at-risk youth succeed and become productive members of society with a heart to serve the community. The GIFT Foundation will fund KUPU’s CommunityU program which focuses on service learning through field work, completing a high school diploma equivalency program and guidance and financial support for placement into vocational training, community college enrollment, or paid on-the-job training assignments.
Learn more at http://kupuhawaii.org/communityu/

Kids Hurt Too Hawaii

Kids Hurt Too Hawaii is the only program in the state dedicated to helping children who have lost one or both parents through death, divorce, domestic violence, incarceration, fostering or deployment. Their Therapeutic Project Services for children and families include counseling, peer support groups, mentoring, leadership and skills training, all designed to decrease risk factors for alienation and failures and improve family relationships, build self-esteem, improve social, academic and life functioning, and provide an invaluable support system.
Learn more at http://www.grievingyouth.org

“Zoo To You” (Honolulu Zoological Society)

The Honolulu Zoological Society’s mission is to foster an appreciation of our living world by supporting and advocating environmental education, recreation, biological study and conservation activities at the Honolulu Zoo. The GIFT Foundation will fund the “Zoo to You” outreach program that brings conservation education to schools in underprivileged communities on Oahu and the installation of four additional docent stations throughout the zoo.
Learn more at http://www.honoluluzoo.org/default.htm

Hawaii Children Cancer Foundation’s Tutoring Program

The Hawaii Children’s Cancer Foundation was formed in 1991 by a group of parents and medical providers after a statewide needs assessment showed that there were many childhood cancer needs not being met by any existing entity.
Facts about HCCF

Learn more at http://hccf.org/about/

Waipa Foundation’s Community Kitchen Project

The Waipa Foundation serves as a Native Hawaiian learning center and community center where all who visit can renew ties to the ‘aina (land and resources), and learn about traditional values and lifestyle through laulima (many hands working together). Waipa is a place for culturally relevant practices, teaching, and sharing while we learn again how to live in balance with our ‘aina; Restoring health and vibrance in the ahupua‘a and in ourselves too!
Waipa Foundation has developed and restored learning sites and physical assets throughout the property, and created and established programs, curriculum and activities which utilize and maintain those learning sites. Some of our core activities including growing taro and a weekly community distribution of poi, a weekly farmer market, regular programming serving community youth, a variety of group visits from 5,000+ learners of all ages every year, efforts to strengthen our local food system, cultural festivals and more.

Learn more about their Community Ktichen Project at: http://waipafoundation.org/community_facilities/

Good Beginnings Alliance

Good Beginnings Alliance is a statewide, non-profit organization originally designated in 1997 by State Legislature Act 77 as the intermediary for state and community leadership to develop an integrated early childhood system in Hawai‘i. With the sunset of Act 77 in 2010 and the formation of the Governor’s Executive Office on Early Learning, GBA is now poised to focus its efforts on advocacy, strategic communications and community mobilization in support of GBA’s mission to ensure that all of Hawaii’s children are safe, healthy and ready to succeed by: 1) shaping public will and public policy; 2) mobilizing action; and 3) maximizing resources dedicated to young children.

Learn more at http://goodbeginnings.org/ or watch a video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeJ4uXTQdu8&feature=player_embedded

Mental Health America of Hawaii

Focus of Contribution: Stop Youth Bullying and Suicide

Mission: MHA-Hawai`i’s mission is to promote mental wellness, prevent mental illness, reduce stigma, and improve the care, treatment, and empowerment of those with mental illnesses – children and youth, adults, and elders — and their families. MHA-Hawai`i has developed unique, highly interactive bullying and suicide prevention trainings that allow participants to role play, develop scenarios using real-life local case studies, answer quizzes, and brainstorm their very own “web of support.” All the exercises are based on the experiences of local youth. Young people attending our trainings identify with the material and are highly engaged because of the interactivity and “localness” of the presentations. With respect to suicide and depression, our presentations focus on identifying the problem of suicide/depression; educating participants using statistics, definitions, signs and symptoms of suicide; and identifying risk factors (i.e., factors that increase the likelihood that someone may be suicidal). With respect to bullying, our trainings emphasize understanding what constitutes bullying and cyberbullying, realizing the dangerous impact bullying can have on its victims, encouraging empathy among the youth, empowering bystanders to take action, and developing skills and strategies for safe and effective interventions.

Family Programs Hawai`i

Focus of Contribution: Project Visitation

Mission: Project Visitation (PV) serves children of all ages and legal status who have a history of involvement in the foster care system and have been separated through different out-of-home placements. Currently, there are approximately 180 siblings participating in PV on O‘ahu and 30 in West Hawai`i. PV provides monthly visitation, 6 annual events, a 3-day camp and case management services to separated siblings in order to maintain their relationship. The purpose of the program is to maintain sibling relationships through a cadre of community volunteers who coordinate visits giving siblings a chance to visit, strengthen their bonds, and reconnect to one another. FPH is the only agency providing sibling visitation in Hawai`i.

Hospice Hawaii

Focus of Contribution:
Implementation of a formal Pediatric Hospice Program

Mission: Their mission is “to bring hope, reduce fears and impact lives.” They do this by providing: comprehensive physical, emotional, social and spiritual care and support to those in need. They teach caregiver skills to family members so they can care for their loved ones at home. They also care for patients at their Kailua House and Palolo House and stay connected with families through their Bereavement Program.

Hawaii Youth Symphony

Focus of Contribution: Music Alive Program, an initiative to help meet the needs of a community and educational system that is starved for live musical/educational performances. With the absence of the Honolulu Symphony, there is a need for high-quality performances in several venues across the state. HYS is the only organization that can fill this gap. This program will secure outreach programming for community and educational concerts on different islands throughout the next three years. This year’s combined gift will ensure the funding for the first two years to be planned and executed. There will be a minimum of ten major performances each year servicing over 30,000 children during the three years. Educational concerts and preparation material distributed to teachers and students help children of Hawaii meet general learning outcomes and state music standards.

Mission: HYS fills a large gap in music education for Hawaii’s youth. Though music education has lasting, positive effects on childhood development and learning, the quality of HYS’s music program is not available in most public schools. Few music specialists exist at the elementary schools and only 15% of the state’s high schools offer any type of orchestral program. HYS provides a learning environment that fosters cooperation, communication and teamwork among students from many schools and cultural backgrounds. HYS collaborates with artists, musicians, composers, entertainers and arts groups throughout the state and beyond to give its students musical experiences they cannot find elsewhere.

Boys & Girls Club

Focus of Contribution: Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI), The JDAI initiative focuses on the idea to provide an alternative to sending Hawaii’s youth that need to be protected from negative conditions at home or have committed non-violent crimes to a juvenile detention center. Too often this segment of the center’s occupants are put into environments that often times make their situation worse. This program proposes to utilize the infrastructure of the existing Boys & Girls club in Waianae to develop a clubhouse program with the help of the juvenile court system. The gift will ensure funding for the key staff position during its pilot year and until it receives federal funding.

Mission: Hawaii’s Juvenile Justice System differs from most states as there are no alternatives to detention. As a result, youth who have committed non-violent, minor transgressions such as curfew violation, running away from a troubled home, and truancy are locked up with youth that have committed serious and violent crimes. These youth are now negatively impacted as they “learn the ropes” of serious crimes. Through the partnership with the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii (BGCH) seeks to provide forty (40) youth referred by the Juvenile Courts with access to the BGCH Waianae Clubhouse. BGCH will provide one (1) staff to run The Journey Program and provide case notes to the youth participants’ probation officer. The program will engage participants in all available activities of the Waianae Clubhouse including The Journey Program, Ohana “family” nights and service learning. Key skills learned will be: volunteerism, pro-social skills and leadership development.

Hawaii Nature Center

Focus of Contribution: Construction of a New Sheltered Pavilion for Expansion of Programs, The Hawaii Nature Center in Makiki Valley is operating its facility at full capacity. An additional program shelter would enable them to expand several programs, including revenue generating events that would help ensure their future sustainability as an impactful contributor to environmental educational services in the community.

Mission: The Hawaii Nature Center has fulfilled an important educational and conservation mission: “to foster awareness, appreciation and understanding of the environment by and for the people of Hawaii, and to encourage wise stewardship of the islands in the future”. The legacy of the HNC’s field programs is an environmentally literate public, whose understanding of local natural and cultural history and environmental issues are grounded in an inspired sense of place. To date, the Hawaii Nature Center has served nearly 750,000 children, teachers, families and visitors with its variety of environmental programs.

Hawaii Literacy

Focus of Contribution:
1. Literacy & Technology Initiative, will provide computer access and educational instruction for low-income adults and children in a variety of high need settings to promote better educational and employment outcomes. Will serve approximately 600 children and 150 adults annually.

2. Parents Achieving Literacy Project, will support literacy tutoring and parent support programs that help children learn to read, write and succeed in school while their parents increase literacy skills. Will serve approximately 110 adults and 250 children annually.

3. Youth Tutoring Project & Literacy Classes, will expand Family Literacy activities to include individual and small group on-site tutoring for low-income youth in Family Literacy programs, bookmobile programs and children with parents in ‘drop-in’ center programs, working with community partners and new trained volunteer tutors.

Mission: Our mission is to help people gain knowledge and skills by providing literacy and lifelong learning services.

Hui Malama Learning Center (Maui)

Learning Center, a non-profit (501c3), was originally created to address the academic needs of local youth, primarily teen mothers, who had dropped out or been expelled from the public school system. As their mission states, “Our caring environment provides unique educational opportunities to youth and families of Maui Nui.” (Since its inception) Hui Malama has provided educational alternatives and academic support services to over 20,000 children, families and adults in Maui County. Last year alone, Hui Malama’s integrative programs served more than 1200 individuals, over 1000 of them under the age of 19, by helping students to realize academic and personal success and improve their employment opportunities.” The Gift Foundation of Hawaii will be assisting HMLC and their new Executive Director, Pualani Enos, with the launching of their pilot special-education program for 2009. (Total Pilot Budget: $120K)

Spirit Sessions (Oahu)

Spirit Sessions has launched its first full year of assisting at-risk and troubled teens through the Hawaii Girls Court Program, teaching life lessons through surfing and counselor guided ‘talk-circles’. The Gift Foundation of Hawaii’s goal will be to assist with the He`e Nalu Learning Center, their new pilot marine biology program, providing ocean based experiential learning as a part of the Spirit Sessions project. (Total NALU Budget 2009: $38K)

Kanu Hawaii

Kanu Hawaii is a movement of people drawing on island strengths to make Hawaii a model of environmental sustainability, economic resilience and compassionate community. Kanu Hawaii is pursuing this vision through “island style” activism that starts with changing ourselves before pointing any fingers; trying to lead by example, then asking others – including neighbors, businesses, and government – to change.

The Childrens Discovery Center

The Children’s Discovery Center, A world-class, interactive, participatory learning environment designed to inspire the young and “young-at-heart” to new heights of learning and discovery. The Center provides an environment that encourages children to use their senses of touch, sight, hearing, and smell to gain a better understanding of the world around them. Their goals are to help children develop positive self-concept and an understanding of others in Hawaii’s multicultural community, and to offer them a “window to the world” beyond our island shores.

Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii

Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii is a NARHA member center offering therapeutic riding and regular riding lessons since 1983. THH is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Their goal is to improve the minds and bodies of their riders using horses as therapy tools. We specialize in physically or mentally disabled children and adults, but provide instruction to riders of any ability.

‘AINA In Schools

The ‘AINA In Schools Program is a farm-to-school program that consists of six integrated components: nutrition education in classrooms, promotion of healthy school lunches featuring locally grown produce, garden-based learning, solid waste management, farm field trips and community outreach. This program was designed by The Kokua Hawaii Foundation to ensure the future health of the children, communities and environment in Hawaii. A pilot program has been implemented at five elementary schools on Oahu, and the goal is to make the ‘AINA In Schools program available to more of Hawaii’s public schools in the near future. The Kokua Foundation of Hawaii was established in 2003, and is a non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii. Their mission is to provide students with exciting and interactive encounters that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so that they will be lifelong stewards of the earth.

The North Shore Community Land Trust

The North Shore Community Land Trust is an organization committed to preserving the Pupukea-Paumalu property on the North Shore. Community members, multiple levels of government, and supporters from around the world are working to conserve Pupukea Paumalu and implement community stewardship of its unique resources. An unprecedented coalition including the surf industry, the City and County of Honolulu, the State of Hawaii, the Federal government, the US Army Garrison Hawaii, and other contributors have committed financial support for the public acquisition and permanent protection of Pupukea Paumalu. Once it is permanently protected, Pupukea-Paumalu will be managed as a natural area and will be open to the public soon after community plans for educational programs, public access, safety features are completed. The area is well-suited for activities such as hiking, nature study, biking, horseback riding, and agricultural and cultural resource restoration.

Positive Coaching Alliance-Hawai’i

Sports and coaches can teach valuable life lessons, while keeping our kids off the streets. Unfortunately many of us have to turn over our children to coaches who have had no training. Their “win at all costs” mentality creates a pressure-filled environment for kids, which eventually turns 70 percent of them away from sports and, worst of all, teaches them poor life lessons.

Positive Coaching Alliance-Hawai’i provides training, workshops and practical tools for coaches, parents and sports association leaders to get them to learn how to “Honor the Game” and win. The Stanford-based national office also educates those who shape the youth sports experience by offering partnership programs to youth sports organizations, schools, cities and national sports governing bodies.