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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Project Hawai'i, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Education, Emergency Assistance, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services

Mission: To enhance the lives of homeless children though interactive solutions to help them end the cycle of homelessness.

Results: This is our 15th year on the islands of Hawai'i. Typically each year we are able to help over 1,500 children between the islands of Hawai'i and O'ahu. We have successfully provide holiday meals, parties, gifts, to hundreds living in poverty or homeless situations. Every month we provide emergency care, hygiene, food and clothing to those living homeless along the waters edge and those high in the mountains. This is our 13th year providing the free summer camp educational program. We plan to expand our summer camp to those on the island of Maui for 2018 as well. Currently, we have our Adventures Abound Day Camp on O'ahu and Edu-Camp Sleep over camp on Big Island. Both these camps are striving to be 100% organic!

Target demographics: Poverty stricken and homeless children living on the islands of Hawai'i. We target unsheltered homeless children between the ages of infancy to 18 years.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We provide services to an average of 1,500 individual children annually. In addition to the children, we provide life changing opportunities to moms enrolled in the first to work program. Helping them develop life and work skills so they can obtain work and employment opportunities to change their lifestyle.

Geographic areas served: We provide services to the children living in poverty across the islands of Hawai'i (Big Island) and O'ahu

Programs: We provide the following Programs: Holiday Parties/Events Basic Life Skills Emergency Services Summer Camp Teen Mentoring Program Healthy Hearts for Homeless Keiki Monthly Giveaways/Outreach Emergency Support Job/Life Training/Skills Volunteer/First to Work Opportunities

Community Stories

150 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got into contact with Project Hawaii 6 months ago as we discussed the possibility of myself and my good friend Brittan coming to the camp to shoot photos and video. The experience was more than I could've ever expected. I think God puts things into my world for a reason and I can clearly see that's exactly what he did with Project Hawaii. The camp itself was very well run and the kids were wonderful with the camera. Much love to Magin and Cliff for accommodating us while we were there. So excited to finish putting together this video for them. A wonderful non profit to say the least. These guys really know what they are doing and they put so much passion into it all, I would love to come back someday and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to volunteer at a nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am new to Project Hawai'i and have been part of their volunteer team for a few months now. I have had the pleasure to participate in a few awesome events and see how impactful this really small agency is in our community. Not only being front line as a volunteer to but seeing how the community reacts to the changes being made is wonderful.
I have met so many different wonderful people who truly put their heart and soul into this program. The clients are so grateful and respect the efforts that it takes to provide the services they receive.
I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to make a difference and know that their donations of time or money is well worth the while. This program is truly driven by heartfelt people.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a newer volunteer to Project Hawai'i and have found that this dynamic life-changing program is very under "staffed". There is so much to do and so many ways to help, but the director is overwhelmed and has a hard time getting people started.
I have seen first hand the children and how this program impacts their lives. I have seen the dedication this wonderful lady has put forward and how hard she works to stay afloat.
It would be wonderful if the community would be more supportive. If they could get the exposure they deserve. While working with this organization I have seen more good and more changing effects than most do in a life-time.
Hoping this message will encourage others to make a difference and volunteer today. Join her team and change the lives of these children.

2 HawaiiGurl

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Aloha everyone!! I am honored to be asked to share my story about the impact that Project Hawai'i, Inc has had on my life as I joined their journey to help end the cycle of poverty and homelessness here in Hawai'i.
After answering a volunteer wanted add, I became involved in helping with fundraising and awareness events. Learning how one person can impact another is a wondrous joy everyone should experience in their lifetime. I helped to raise thousands of dollars, meet new people with similar likes as me and best of all change the lives of homeless children.
I am a dance instructor. I love to move to the sounds of universe and so delighted to share this with the homeless children at their summer educational programs on the Big Island. Never realizing that the impact this would bring to my life, I am so excited to share. When I enrolled to become a guest to share my talents, I had no idea the state of these children. Walking into the camp and seeing all their little faces, lack of social skills and eagerness to learn. They all ran up to me and said HELLO and wanted to know what I had in my bags. I was overwhelmed with their emotions that one could tell came from being neglected of simple life needs. After speaking with other volunteers and those who put on the camp, I could not believe that these children truly have nothing and when we come as guests we give them a new look at life. My dance class teaches them to feel their emotions and let it out through dance. While these guys are very young, it was fun to see them wiggle and jump and move their bodies as they shook out their fears, and their tears. I am so happy to be filled with their love and gratefulness.
Volunteering for the program will fill your heart and spirit. It will give you a perspective on life that one rarely sees.
Happy to be part of this life changing program.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Becoming a teen mentor for Project Hawai'i Summer camp was truly a life changing experience. I am in my senior year of high school and my mom was pushing me to figure out a career path. I was so uncertain about what my passion was and what I wanted to dedicate my life to. My mom is a doctor, and yet I felt like she was not really happy with her choice in life. She truly should have been able to follow her real dreams and become a home decorator and reconstruct historic homes. Her parents wanted her to be "successful".
After spending 4 weeks with the team at Project Hawai'i and finding my own strengths, I phoned my mother at our graduation and told her, "Yes, I will go to school to become a pediatrician." The fact that I know I can change lives and maybe someday have a foundation for those who can not afford adequate care and love was overwhelming what I wanted to strive for.
I am so grateful for this teen mentoring program. When I signed up, I thought, great I am going to Hawaii and will be able to volunteer and give back. Complete my senior project and have a blast. When I arrived and learned the true meaning of this camp, the leaders vision and actually saw first hand how these children live in poverty situations, my ideas fly out the window. I can't express the sadness one feels when seeing these children and how they are being raised to the joy you feel knowing you have helped them find joy and happiness, even if just for a moment in time. This past Christmas I sent them all a Christmas card and a small gift card with LOVE and know that these children will always remain in my heart.
Nothing can beat this experience. Being able to find your own path and follow your journey alongside the guidance of those who really care is priceless. I am so happy to be part of this 'ohana (family as they say in Hawai'i).
Aloha until next time!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was invited to share my story as a mom who was able to send my child to the free summer camp for those who are struggling to survive on these islands. I was born and raised here on the islands, this is my home. I have never known what it means to live in a home or call a "sheltered" place home. I have always been in the struggles of being homeless and not knowing what the future can hold for me. Now a young mom with two children and no husband, I continue the struggle and hope that my children have a better life than I had.
Project Hawai'i Summer Camp has done that for me and my children. I was able to send my two children to camp and while they were in safe hands laughing and learning, I was able to apply for jobs and take care of other needs to make our life better.
I was surprised when asked to write a review. Who am I, who would care what I have to say. I only hope that others who are in need find this wonderful program and take advantage of what the leaders are willing to do to help.
Without this program, i would not have the hope and support that it takes to keep me and my kids off the streets and out of the bushes. I am so happy that Project Hawai'i cares for the children. Magin and Cliff are the most generous and loving people I have ever met. Aloha is not a word that can describe them... they are just two souls who really care and want what is best for everyone. No judgement for what we are going through. Just the loving support and helping hand that is needed.
Hope that this letter is what was asked for. I know that I am just a single mom.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was one of the lucky teens to have been invited to attend the teen mentoring summer camp program. This experience was more than I could have ever imagined. Not only would my family ever be able to afford such an experience for me, I was so blessed to have everything I needed sponsored. Once I finished the program, the memories of what made this so wonderful still remain in my daily thoughts. I have learned so much from this camp. So much from my experience as I was able to work with teens who were there to help me grow and learn.
I am proud to say that I am the first person in my family ever to have graduated from high school, and I owe that to Project Hawai'i, Inc., for always being there for me and my family.
I am so grateful that Magin and Cliff decided to open this camp up to teens who are homeless and struggling in life, not just for the little one's. My life is so much better because of this experience.
I am now applying for college and hold a full-time job. My life is on the right track and I will succeed.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review and I hope that this helps someone else in the future find the hope that I have found with Project Hawai'i.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After searching for a nonprofit that makes an impact on the lives of homeless children in Hawai'i, I ran across Project Hawai'i, Inc. After researching their website and social media I fell in love with what this program does for the homeless children. The passion and respect they have to change the lives of these precious children is unmatched. The dedication to assure that every child is found during the holidays, and families without transportation make it to their summer programs, or the fact that they really go out looking for the homeless despite the locations or even harmful areas.
If you have a chance to check out the website, or be involved on any level, please do so. I was a volunteer and a donor and will continue my support as long as I am able. This nonprofit is not really widely known and that is a tragedy for the children they care for.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a new donor and supporter of Project Hawaii. I had a wonderful experience working with the children at their summer educational program. What surprised me most was the fact that this organization does so much with so little. It is hard to believe that run 100% by public donations!
I visited the camp expecting it to be just fun and games for the children since I know they have little donations coming in. My contribution wasn't much either, but the fact this camp provides everything for these precious children is amazing.
I was so surprised to see all the meals are prepared from fresh and organic ingredients. It shocked me that everything was truly made by hand. These children enjoyed 3 homemade meals daily!!!
To see the eyes of these children light up as they participated in one activity to the next was more than my heart can handle. This camp was by far the most educational and guided camp I have ever seen.
Project Hawai'i will continue to have my support and I do hope this review will encourage others to take the step to give. Every little bit makes a difference. The photo shown is the thank you card I received. I will post it on my fridge as a daily reminder of the joy I was able to share with these children.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that because of Project Hawai'i Teen Mentoring Summer Camp, I am a true mentor! I can't thanks this program and the dedicated staff enough for giving me the skills and self confidence to truly be the leader I always wanted to be. I attend camp a few years ago as a freshman. The entire group that year was 13-14 years old. We were told that was sort of rare, being that we are all either going to be or were freshmen. But as Magin always says, "Everything happens for a reason and the universe gives us exactly what we need, when we need it". Something that is hard to even comprehend, but this woman truly lives in a world of hope and dreams. She is always there for what the teens need, and beyond belief when it comes to providing for these homeless children we work alongside all summer long.
I wasn't sure what this program would provide for me, but I knew I needed to be my own person in an environment that was service driven. I am so glad that I took the steps to find this awesome organization and raised the extra money my parents wouldn't provide for me.
I was asked to share a story, but there are so many wonderful things to share, I decided just to give a recommendation. Enroll, go to this program, make it part of your life journey and tell your own stories. I hope to return someday and give back even more!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being part of this years Project Hawai'i Summer Camp as jr. leader has changed my life. I have spent most of my life being homeless, or living with different relatives here and there. Stability is not something I know. However, being part of this life changing experience has truly touched my life. This is actually my second year, and was so grateful for the opportunity to continue on my path to ending the cycle of poverty and homelessness for myself.
What Magin and Cliff teach at this camp, and throughout the year, is that we are in control of our outcome. We might not know what is going to happen to day, or where we will live tomorrow, but we do have control of what we learn, what we experience and who we can become.
Without Project Hawai'i, I would not have the self-esteem or even the will to stay in school to succeed. Their teen mentoring and jr. leader program provides us with so much to hold on to as we learn and grow into young adults. Project Hawai'i provided me this opportunity as well as all my back to school needs. They even allow the teens to shop for their own clothing and shoes. Giving us the joy of picking out our own outfit, our style, our perfect size and color. yes, that does make a difference.
Thank you to all those who make this possible. I know that the teens who participate have a tuition that helps to cover the cost for me to attend. I can't thank them enough. And the teens who truly care about me, and my future, more thanks than I can give.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a homeless family living in the Waimea area of the Big Island. Project Hawai'i has always been there for my children. I have two boys and two girls. We have lived in an abandoned car and up in the hills for 3 years. Every time the holidays come so does Magin and Cliff. They are always there for us.
We would not be able to have hope to have a joyful holding if they didn't come to make sure our kids are ok.
Stggling on the island is hard. We are born and raise Hawaiian and can't make a living to provide for our children but we still try. The children can't wait for see these great people and look forward to the holidays and back to school.
We was asked to share a story of how Project Hawaii when helped us. I know they have changed our life by being there for us. Hope and care throughout our struggles. These two don't judge and just love our family.
We know they have to get donations for everyting they give and I am thankful for the people who help. My children are what it is about and that is why I wanted to write this story

5 Trudy F.

Donor

Rating: 5

I LOVE this organization!!
I volunteered with them for many years while living in Hawaii. Magin and Cliff are the most selfless people I've ever met!
Keep up the GREAT WORK!

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Magin, the founder of Project Hawaii, is one of the most giving, selfless people I have ever met. I have volunteered for 5 or 6 years now during the Christmas season to help the kids have the kind of Xmas all kids deserve. I have helped at the Xmas party for most of those years and if you could see the smiles on the faces of those precious children you would know how much good this organization does.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love all Project Hawai'i does. We help out every year in Hilo at the Christmas party at Aunt Sally's. So very heartwarming to see so many kids get presents, see Santa and have a wonderful Christmas dinner. Mahalo for all you do!!!!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I was overwhelmed by the experience I had as a volunteer with Project Hawaii and their back to school event for the homeless children.
I volunteered to make a donation to help sponsor children and went on their outreach delivery to one of the encampments. When we arrived, children ran up to her car. Nothing I have ever experienced and hard to put into words. These children have no shoes on their feet, half dressed in filthy clothes, dirty faces and yet they are so happy and excited to see us pull up.
We called their names and handed them backpacks that were full of supplies, outfits and shoes. They also had a hygiene bag and a lunch sack.
The experience of watching the children get this backpacks truly is a life changing experience for me. I signed up to volunteer and donate, but what I got out of it is priceless.
I found this little organization online and thought I would be part of something to help on a small level. What I found out is that this organization is actually really big. They take on the needs and challenges of two islands and have no government or state help. Their staff consists of 2 people who volunteer and actually have jobs of their own. What's more impressive is the amount of children they provide for. I only visited one encampment, but they take on several different ones all across the islands.
Words can't express the feeling that one gets from being part of Project Hawaii. They truly make the difference they talk about.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people involved with Project Hawai'i literally changed my life. They helped open my eyes to the struggles of kids and families less fortunate than me and gave me a chance to see first hand the difference that can be made with just a simple backpack. I am forever thankful to Magin and Cliff for including me in their camp this summer, and consider them and others that are involved as my extended family. The dedication that they have for these families is something I have never seen before. They literally spend almost every waking moment helping these kids in someway. Whether it be hygiene bags or a new set of pajamas, these children are always being considered and taken care of. I hope to be able to come back and be apart of this amazing group again in the near future. Mahalo to Magin and Cliff for this unforgettable experience.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our group was able to volunteer with Project Hawaii to raise funds for their summer camp program. It was a fun and rewarding day for all our members. Our group is about making change in the world and helping others. We were so impressed by the directors of this program. They cared about the volunteers as much as for the homeless keiki they provide service to. We felt like family and knew we were making an impact towards these precious children's lives.
Our teen group travels the world to make change, and help where needed. Volunteering with Project Hawaii is our favorite program. We raised funds for the children, then spent a half day with the homeless children. What an experience. #projecthawaii #volunteerhawaii #love #teenvolunteers #makeadifference #summercamp #helpthehomelesschildren

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project hawaii is an amazing initiative., not suprisong with a woman like megan at the helm. I have known Megan & have seen her work in the community for many years. She works tirelessly for the children and the community, and always with a smile on her face. There are so many other wonderful volunteers & coordinators involved. This summer my daughter was blessed with the opportunity to attend the project hawaii summer camp. I have always dreamed of giving my girl the experience of sleep away camp, but, as a young, single working mother, it was just out of our budget. Project hawaii brought that dream to life. My daughter had an amazing time at camp! She really seemed to grow from the experience & definitely had a ton of fun. I look forward to being involved in this project more in the future!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks so much for giving my kids a awesome positive summer experience . They have been through a lot of transitions this year and we are just now obtaining some sort of stability. I'm so grateful to have met Megan and Cliff, it's a great relief to see that there are people who really care about something outside themselves. I couldn't afford to do anything fun with them this summer break, so your summer camp really saved their summer ;and helped tremendously with the back to school supplies... I've found in life good things never last, but I hope you guys are able to continue your mission and continue passing great character strengths to the Leaders of tomorrow, our children -the leaders ,mentors and participants . I want to thank everyone . -Ezekiel and Ezra's Mom

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My youngest son had the opportunity to participate in Project Hawaii on the Big Island this summer. From the first day of registration, I knew this camp was going to not only be an opportunity that my son, absolutely needs (socially and physically) but I was able to see the passion and organization of the camp leaders. I was truly impressed! My son had an absolute fantastic time, both my son and I could not be any happier with the way things turned out. We were floored when we had the camp celebration with family after camp. Project Hawaii gave us parents the opportunity to spend time with our children and other fellow campers and staff in a beautiful setting, with great food and a blessing of school supplies for all of each family members children. Words can't describe how blessed we feel to be a part of this. I will definitely contribute in any way I can from this day forward to help support this organization. Hats off to everyone!