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23 Volunteer Ideas in Hawai‘i

Here’s our guide to giving back, from removing invasive species to decorating theater sets.


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Hawaiian Culture & History

Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, from the environment to history. You’ll learn while you help perpetuate diverse causes.


Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kānewai

Nothing says community service in Hawai‘i quite like getting knee-deep in a lo‘i kalo. The Kānewai lo‘i at UH Mānoa hosts workdays every first Saturday of the month in which volunteers not only help with farming but also interact with Hawaiian-language speakers and kūpuna. Minors who wish to participate must sign a waiver. manoa.hawaii.edu/hshk/ka-papa-loi-o-kanewai/volunteer-at-kanewai



Hawaiian Mission Houses

Volunteers can help as curatorial, archival and gift shop assistants, tour guides and more for the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. Administrative assistants and docents are needed, in particular. High school and college students interested in museum studies and anthropology are welcome as interns. missionhouses.org

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Paepae o He‘eia

Photo: Courtesy Paepae o He‘eia

Get outside to preserve and restore one of Hawai‘i’s ancient fishponds, which has been around for 800 years. Two Saturdays a month are designated community workdays when volunteers remove invasive species, reconstruct the kuapā and perform other tasks. Volunteers under 12 must come with an adult. Wear covered shoes, clothing that can get dirty, sunscreen and a hat, and don’t forget to bring plenty of water. RSVPs are required. Every Friday is also a workday for more intense projects. paepaeoheeia.org/volunteer



‘Iolani Palace

You don’t have to go through prolonged docent training to volunteer at ‘Iolani Palace. Other opportunities include welcoming guests, general assistance, helping in the gift shop and clerical assistance. It’s a good starting point if you hope to become a docent in the future, which requires taking courses. Volunteers must commit to at least four hours a week for three to six months and attend an orientation. iolanipalace.com/contact/volunteer.aspx

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808 Urban

Hawaiian community artists and organizers mentor at-risk youth in low-income neighborhoods through street-art workshops. Volunteers help with 808 Urban events, such as Honolulu Night Market, while interns are needed for general assistance with daily operations. 808urban.org/contact/internship-information

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Looking for more volunteer ideas? Click here.




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Honolulu Magazine June 2020