30 Volunteer Ideas in Hawaii
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Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
This public interest, nonprofit law firm provides legal advocacy, outreach and education to low-income families throughout the state. The society focuses on the areas of family law, consumer law, fair housing, health care, tax issues and state benefits and has 10 offices statewide. Attorneys and paralegals respond to legal inquiries from 20,000 residents annually, providing counsel or full representation to 9,500 of those individuals.
How to Help: The Honolulu office needs administration volunteers to help out with clerical work and data reporting, as well as legal volunteers to assist paralegals and attorneys with case work, including organizing client files and making calls. The society also needs volunteers for its Fair Housing Enforcement Program to investigate discriminatory housing practices. Volunteers gather data, and receive a stipend and gas mileage reimbursement.
Volunteer Requirements: Fair Housing volunteers must be at least 18 years old and cannot be employed in the real estate industry or have family members who are. Volunteers go through a background check and must complete a three-hour training session.
How to Give: Donations help legal aid recipients: $50 helps a disabled person apply for public benefits; $75 helps an elderly person prepare an advanced health care directive or will; $100 helps a person file for bankruptcy on their own; $250 helps prevent wrongful eviction of a family from their home; $500 helps a domestic violence victim obtain a restraining order against their abuser. Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, 924 Bethel St., Honolulu, 96813. 536-4302, legalaidhawaii.org.
Hawaii Literacy Inc.
Hawaii Literacy staff members teach children and adults to read and write through its family and adult literacy program, tutoring services and family libraries. The organization serves 2,100 people each year, says executive director Suzanne Skjold.
How to Help: Volunteers are needed once a week for two hours to assist with the nonprofit’s bookmobile that visits nine locations along the Waianae coast lending books to families. Volunteers can also go through a 16-hour training to become a one-on-one literacy tutor, or help children read, write and do homework after school at the family literacy library at Mayor Wright Homes, and, in January, at Kuhio Park Terrace, the state’s two largest public housing complexes.
Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers must have a background check and need to have a high-school diploma.
How to Give: The literacy nonprofit needs funding to rebuild its library at the newly renovated Kuhio Park Terrace. Money will help buy books, book bins, shelving and other materials. Hawaii Literacy Inc., 200 N. Vineyard Blvd., Suite 320, Honolulu, HI 96817, hawaiiliteracy.org.
Waikiki Health Center
The Waikiki Health Center is a federally qualified community center that provides various medical and social services. “We help the homeless, the noninsured, the underinsured and everyone else,” says Adrianna O’Donnell, the Waikiki Health Center marketing and development officer.
How to Help: The health center needs volunteers for its Friendly Neighbors program. Volunteers assist senior citizens in the Waikiki area, including taking them to doctor’s appointments, picking up prescriptions or just visiting with them in their homes. The health center recently took over managing the Next Step homeless shelter in Kakaako and needs volunteers to help provide services to its clients, many of whom are families.
Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers must have a background check.
How to Give: O’Donnell says the health center is always in need of financial contributions, which allows it to provide health services for keiki to seniors. Waikiki Health Center, 277 Ohua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, waikikihc.org.