Teams and Walkers
Teams and Walkers
Thank you for considering a donation to the Windward YMCA. As many of you know, I have spent the majority of my adult life in service to the YMCA mission. For years, I have seen firsthand how this worthy organization has made a positive and lasting impact in the lives of countless children, families, and seniors. The YMCA champions programs and services that support not only healthy living, but also youth development and social responsibility. Through these efforts, the YMCA strengthens local communities across the globe and builds a safer, brighter future for us all.
The Windward YMCA is the 7th YMCA I have been honored to serve, and it is indeed a special place. When you walk through the doors of this facility, you immediately feel the unbreakable strength of a family bond and the unity of a close-knit community. Giving back to our community and supporting those in need is a part of the culture here. In 2019, this single branch location alone raised over $110,000 from individual donors like you to provide financial subsidy and program assistance to those who could otherwise not afford to participate in programs such as swim lessons, fitness programs, after school programs, teen leadership development programs, and summer camps. My goal this year is to raise at least another $100,000 in our annual campaign (my personal online goal is $5,000, and my team goal is $40,000). We are proud that 100% of every dollar raised at the Windward YMCA is going directly back to those children, families, and seniors who desperately need our help. In fact, last year the Windward YMCA gave away $110,155 in scholarships and program subsidy to those less fortunate in our community.
You may know the YMCA for our youth development and healthy living initiatives, but did you also know that social responsibility is a cornerstone of the work we do to strengthen the community at the Windward YMCA? The need is great here. Did you know that...
~Hawaii has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation, taking into account the high cost of living here. According to last year’s census statistics, the supplemental poverty level in Hawaii is 16.8%. Hawaii has the highest RPP (Regional Price Parity) rating in the country. So the cost of living in Hawaii is one of the highest in the nation. The percentage of struggling families in Hawaii is an astounding 49 percent, making Hawaii one of the 3 states (along with California and New Mexico) with the highest percentage of families who are challenged to survive. Nearly half of all households in Hawaii are unable to afford a basic monthly survival budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation. Many of these families earn above the federal poverty level, but below a basic cost of living. Everywhere you look here, people are struggling to make ends meet.
...At the Y, we understand that sometimes folks need a helping hand to lift them up. We believe in caring for and giving back to our neighbors. Last year alone, the Windward YMCA provided $43,274 in financial subsidy so that youth, families, and seniors could participate in physical activity, safe childcare, and community programs through YMCA membership scholarships.
~A staggering 52% of public school students in Hawaii are economically disadvantaged. This challenges the students' ability to succeed even if they are receiving a high-quality education. But educators in Hawaii are struggling too. Hawaii's high cost of living is spurring Hawaii teachers to quit their jobs at an alarming rate. Employment reports from the state Department of Education show that teacher vacancies have risen 51 percent since 2011, with over 1,000 vacancies in Hawaii that were reported unfilled last year. The number of unlicensed teachers who don’t meet state qualification rose 63% from 2011 to 2017. Pay increases for teachers have not kept up with the high cost of living in Hawaii, which is cited as a main reason for the attrition in teachers on island.
...The YMCA of Honolulu believes in nurturing the potential of youth, and we serve nearly 6,000 children every year in our Before and After School programs. The Windward YMCA partners with 8 local elementary schools, where we offer After School programming to over 700 kids in our local community. In 2019, the Windward Y gave away $46,716 in financial subsidy to children who could not otherwise afford to participate in our youth development programming.
~ In a 2018 study, more than 1 in 5 (22.4%) of Hawaii students between the ages of 15-17 reported drinking alcohol. Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation for percentage of high school students who were offered, sold, or given an illegal drug by someone on school property (31.7%). In 2017, 1 in every 6 individuals arrested in Hawaii for major crime was a juvenile. Hawaii children as young as 10-12 years old were arrested for drug possession (41 total). The numbers more than tripled for teenagers 13-14 years old with a total of 157 arrests for drug possession. Nearly half (49%) of students aged 13 and under who spend over 30 minutes a day on social networking sites saw pictures of other kids on the social networking site drunk, passed out, or using drugs.
...The Windward YMCA understands that youth need positive adult and peer role models, and youth need to feel physically and emotionally safe in order to thrive. The Y puts caring people in children’s lives and nurtures them along their journey to adulthood, so they can become active, thriving, and contributing members of society. Every day we teach kids and teens the values of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility, and diversity - character traits that will put them on the right path to a successful future. Our YMCA Teen Programs provide teens with a safe environment and positive guidance so they are prepared and well-equipped to handle the challenges they face in their daily environment outside of the Y.
~More than ever, people are yearning for a sense of belonging and deeper connections to one another. The Y believes in uniting people, resources, and organizations to work towards the common goal of making our community a stronger, better place to live.
...The Windward YMCA hosts Togetherhood Community Service Days and events throughout the year to support the sustained upkeep and restoration of Ulupō Nui. Guided by our cultural advisor, Kaleo Wong of Kauluakalana, and under the collective leadership of Kauluakalana and the Windward YMCA Togetherhood Committee, families and volunteers of all ages come together for project work days to learn of the historical and spiritual significance of Ulupō Nui, gain a sense of place and belonging, work to preserve and restore the area, and cultivate the vegetative species being grown on the land including kalo (taro). Throughout the year, we host groups of youth of all ages at Ulupō Nui to provide land-based educational opportunities for our youth to learn and grow. Through these efforts, we teach youth about history, culture, and their responsibility to give back and take care of their community and the natural resources around them.
~Last year, it was reported that Hawaii has 487 homeless per 100,000 which is the nation’s highest rate per capita. A heartbreaking 18% of Hawaii’s total houseless population are children. Oahu’s homeless are not just numbers. They are people: men, women, children, and families, who often suffer from mental health issues and/or substance abuse and have no safety net to catch them.
...In 2017, the Windward YMCA took a leadership role in forming the Kailua Houseless Coalition. We are a committee of individuals, non-profit organizations, local churches, Hawaiian organizations, businesses, and residents of the Windward area who work together for the common purpose of providing assistance to the houseless on the Windward side of Oahu. We work in conjunction with IHS (Institute of Human Services), city and state agencies, medical service providers, food banks, and other social-welfare resources to address the needs of the houseless on the Windward side of Oahu. In January 2018, we began to host monthly Houseless Service Care events offered on the last Tuesday of each month. At these events, the houseless in our community are able to receive food, care packages, resources, and services. We just hosted our 24th consecutive monthly event in Dec. 2019, and we are now moving into our 3rd year of the project. We have an average attendance of nearly 30 houseless community members each month, and we have served over 1,000 hot lunch meals since we began the program. Since 2017, we have assisted over 215 different houseless individuals (unduplicated). Many of our guests come to the event every month to enjoy a hot lunch, warm shower, and the opportunity to connect with the community resource partners who can assist them along their journey to improved well-being. Our goal is to be able to continue to offer resources and services for houseless individuals and families on the Windward side to help alleviate suffering and nurture people to achieve well-being.
The YMCA of Honolulu is on the front line, providing programs and services to combat the struggles in our community, prompting lasting social change, and saving lives. From providing assistance and resources to the homeless to nurturing the potential of our youth through land-based education efforts, the Windward YMCA is making a difference. Will you please join me in giving back a little of what you have been blessed to receive in your own lives? This cause is very dear to me, and I appreciate all the support I can get! Together, we can make a difference.
All my best,
Making a Difference - What Your Gift Provides:
We have an extraordinary opportunity to ensure a brighter future for our community – but we must take action today, and only your generosity and support will make it possible. Your gift will help provide underprivileged youth a safe and positive environment to achieve their potential, empower families and people of all ages to lead healthier lifestyles, and improve the lives of seniors, the disabled, and others most vulnerable in our community.
Please help us provide youth with programs that prepare them for lifelong success...
~$112 provides lifesaving skill development and self-confidence for an underprivileged child during eight Swim Lessons.
~$120 provides a child from a low-income family with recreation, role models, and homework assistance for one month of YMCA After-School Care.
~$624 enables an at-risk teen a safe platform to gain a passion for community service at Y Teen Camp.
~$780 allows a child from a struggling family to experience one month of Summer Day Camp.
Please help us provide families and seniors with a safe place to come and gain a sense of connection and togetherness while improving their health and well-being...
~$588 sponsors a year-long Y membership for a senior, giving the gift of health and friendships.
~$1,020 provides a year-long opportunity for a family in need to participate in physical activity, safe childcare, and community service programs together. Help the Y fight the health and social issues that threaten the future well-being of children, families, and seniors in our community.
Please help us continue to strengthen our community through our social responsibility efforts at the Windward YMCA...
~$400 Provides supplies for a Togetherhood Community Work Day at Ulupo Nui where we are working with our partners to restore the land and reconnect people to place.
~$550 Provides a hot meal and resources for the homeless members of our community at one of our monthly Houseless Service Care Events.
Every gift matters. Every gift counts. Thank you for all you do in service to others.