30 Volunteer Ideas in Hawaii
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‘Tis the season to give. Why not give your time and volunteer at one of Hawaii’s many nonprofits? For each cause in the state, there’s a local nonprofit striving to make a difference in the community. You’re bound to find something that suits your interest and fits your schedule, whether it’s helping low-income children, cleaning up a beach or assisting in an opera theater’s upcoming production.
These social service nonprofits need your help in teaching children to read, delivering meals to senior citizens and assisting patients during their hospital stays.
Lanakila Meals on Wheels
Part of social services nonprofit Lanakila Pacific, the organization’s meals on wheels program provides 4,000 hot and prepared meals every week to senior citizens all across Oahu. A registered dietician oversees the program’s daily menu, and although there is currently a waiting list for Meals on Wheels, no one is turned away.
How to Help: “The biggest need is for volunteer delivery drivers on the weekdays and on Sundays,” says volunteer coordinator Randi Jeung. Driver volunteers pick up meals at the organization’s satellite sites and deliver them to seniors. Drivers can request routes—the average route has 10 stops—and delivery times that work with their schedule and are reimbursed for gas mileage. Meal packaging volunteers are also needed at Lanakila’s main location in Liliha.
Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers must go through a background check and attend a 1-½ hour volunteer orientation.
How to Give: Financial donations go toward providing frozen and hot meals to Oahu’s seniors at no cost. With the troubled economy, Jeung said that Lanakila has seen an increase in the number of seniors needing the nonprofit’s meal services. The organization also accepts brown rice donations. Lanakila Pacific, 1809 Bachelot St., Honolulu, 96817, 531-0555, lanakilapacific.org.
Hawaii Pacific Health
This nonprofit health care system is Hawaii’s largest health care provider. The Hawaii Pacific Health umbrella includes Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Clinic and Hospital and Wilcox Health on Kauai. The hospitals serve hundreds of thousands of patients each year, thanks to the help of the more than 1,300 physicians and the nursing and support staff. Join more than 700 volunteers to make patients’ time in the hospital more comfortable.
How to Help: Each hospital needs volunteer ambassadors to answer questions and provide information to patients and their family and friends in the surgical waiting areas as well as the patient waiting areas. The Kapiolani Medical Center needs volunteers to help out in the patient playrooms to do crafts and activities and read and play with the children. The center also needs volunteers for the Art For Life art therapy projects for children. Pali Momi and Straub Clinic need volunteers for room-to-room services, such as assisting them with their meal trays and the book cart, which provides books and magazines to patients.
Volunteer Requirements: Hawaii Pacific Health is looking for adult volunteers with a four-to-six-month commitment, and a three-month commitment for high school students ages 16 to 18. Applicants must have current TB shots and measles, mumps, chicken pox and rubella vaccinations and will be subject to a background check.
How to Give: In September Kapiolani Medical Center kicked off a capital campaign to renovate part of the hospital, including the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. Donations to Pali Momi go toward its expanding Women’s Center. Straub Clinic is always in need of donations to support its medical programs, such as the orthopedic and cardiology services. Hawaii Pacific Health Corporate, 55 Merchant St., Honolulu, 535-7401, www.hawaiipacifichealth.org.