Santa's Little Helpers

Lei ChicBetween trips to the mall, gift wrapping and getting your house ready for the in-laws, it's hard to feel anything but stressed during the holidays.

Looking for a way to keep it all in perspective? Take a few hours to help those in need. Here are some off-the-beaten-track ways to get involved this season, and all year long. 


She's Crafty
Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children offers opportunities to brighten patients' days. Make a child’s chemo treatment pass faster by reading them a favorite story or helping them construct a work of art. To apply to be a volunteer download an application here.

Hey Good Cookin'
Help with kitchen prep work for Family Programs Hawai‘i’s annual holiday party. Every year over 2,000 foster children from all over O‘ahu are treated to face painting, entertainment, gifts, a visit from Santa and, of course, lots of holiday treats. Basic cooking knowledge is required. The party is this weekend, so email them today to help. To volunteer, email or call 808.521.9531 ext. 228.

Talent Show
Got talent? Show it off by performing for senior citizens at Seagull Schools’ Senior Center in Kapolei. Musicians, dancers and acting troupes are all welcome. For more info, call Tracie Romualdo at 808.674.1444. Seagull Schools, 531 Farrington Hwy., Kapolei.

Sow Good
Grow something good by helping with the Hawaii State Hospital’s gardening project. This unique project uses gardening as therapy for adults struggling with mental illness. Help with planting and weeding while providing community reintegration for patients. For more info, call 808.236.8292. Hawaii State Hospital, 45-710 Keaahala Rd., Kaneohe.

Scavenger Hunt
Turn trash into treasure by volunteering at Habitat for Humanity’s Restore thrift shop on Kaua‘i. Got an eye for vintage fashion? Help sort and price donated clothes, arrange merchandise displays and dress mannequins. Love books? Edit through book donations. Proceeds from the store go to building homes for Kaua‘i’s needy. For more info, call 808.335.0296. Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity, 1-3410 Kaumualii Hwy., Hanapepe.