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Editor’s Page: Sometimes the Most Difficult Part of Volunteering is Just Getting Started

Stepping up.


Christi Young

One morning in January, a small fist thrust a wriggling worm just inches away from my nose. I issued the appropriately horrified “EWWW” only to have several other small hands pop up, each brandishing a small creature pulled from the dirt at the Honolulu Zoo.


I was working with local families pulling invasive weeds out of the Hawai‘i Forest Institute’s Children’s Discovery Forest, where native Hawaiian plants are grown to re-create the state’s traditional ecosystems. It’s a big goal, one these keiki largely didn’t register as they searched for other bugs to scare me. For many, the project was the first time they had ever volunteered.


Thousands of Hawai‘i nonprofits are dedicated to changing and supporting our communities. Hundreds of thousands of people lend a hand in some way. And there are even more of us who mean to pitch in, but get lost in the busy-ness of everyday life. I’m one of the latter. It wasn’t until we started HONOLULU Family Volunteer Day five years ago that I discovered how many different and interesting ways we all can contribute. We just have to find the right fit. Think of this January 2020 issue of HONOLULU as a guide. Start with our list of 50 local groups with opportunities for a wide variety of ages, skill sets, interests and commitment levels. Then, for extra motivation, turn to the honorees of our first Ola Pono Awards, a family, couple and busy executive who are passionate about giving back.


Welcome to 2020. We hope this will be an inspiring start.


Christi Young


Got a good story? Reach me at christiy@honolulumagazine.com


january 2020 issue


Read all of these stories in the January issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Available on newsstands in January, or purchase the issue at shop.honolulumagazine.com. Subscribe to the print and digital editions now.



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