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Hawaii Home Ownership Center

Sep 24, 2015

Ward Village Foundation 2015 Grant Recipients

Here at Ward Village, we believe that creating a vibrant community means having an unwavering commitment to a better tomorrow.

The Ward Village Foundation was created in January 2014 as a means to support organizations who showcase exemplary forward thinking through their support of our culture, environment, and community. This August, we awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to several local nonprofit organizations who we believe are marking a difference.

Hawaii Home Ownership Center

The Hawaii HomeOwnership Center (HHOC) has a simple-yet-important mission: to create first-time homeowners in Hawai'i. HHOC makes a deliberate point to work with families from all income levels and has helped numerous people from all walks of life realize that they can own their very own home. By providing education, information, and support to potential first-time homeowners in Hawai'i, HHOC is making a major difference for our community. With the funding they'll receive from the Ward Village Foundation, HHOC will strengthen their outreach efforts to first-time homebuyers. "We'll be expanding our efforts to connect with first-time buyers–particularly those in low to moderate income categories," the organization said. "We know the significant impact of stable housing for these families and how homebuyer classes and coaching helps achieve that."

Surfrider Spirit Sessions

In Hawai'i, we take surfing seriously. Gone are the surfer-turned-burnout stereotypes of days past. Today, it's not at all unusual to see a CEO, doctor, and student all sharing a set wave during an early morning dawn patrol surf session. Here in Hawai'i, surfing is part of our social fabric. It's our lineage, and it's a binding agent of our community. It's this mindset—that surfing can heal and enhance our lives—that the Surfrider Spirit Sessions (SSS) was born. By working with the Hawai'i State Family Court system, SSS mentors juveniles who could have been facing time in a detention center and instead shares with them the joys of the ocean. By introducing them to surfing and the sea and partnering them with mentors, SSS creates a path of stability and growth for at-risk youth. SSS has proven that the ocean heals and we're thrilled to support such an initiative so close to our hearts.

According to SSS, the grant money they received will support the eight-week mentor-based surf program that pairs these teens with volunteers from the professional community, including marine biologists, lawyers, journalists, social workers, doctors, teachers, and small-business owners. "Each session includes land-based instruction, surfing or other ocean

activity, followed by journaling, environmental, and Hawaiian culture lessons," SSS reported. "Through this system, the at-risk youth develop a sense of belonging as they become a part of this positive supportive community, while volunteer mentors develop a deeper appreciation for social welfare, community service, and the environment." In addition to general support, some of the funding will go to purchasing supplies, including surf wax, leashes, and feeding students and teachers in the program.



Waikiki Health

Under the principle that all people deserve quality health care, Waikiki Health has shown that they are completely committed to serving all members of our community. Social services and medical attention aren't a privilege, they're a right—regardless of someone's ability to pay or not. In addition to the various health centers operated by Waikiki Health, the organization is also responsible for running the Next Step shelter in Kaka'ako, which serves and houses almost 250 homeless people every night. At the shelter, residents learn job skills and are guided into permanent housing. Last year alone, the shelter helped 106 residents find housing and placed 75 individuals into jobs.

With the money they received from Ward Village, Waikiki Health is excited to announce that they will be launching a comprehensive optometry service at their Ohua Clinic. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015, the clinic will be serving individuals three days a week. Specifically, the funds will be used to purchase new and used equipment necessary to launch the clinic.


YWCA of Honolulu

Since the early 1900s, the YWCA of Honolulu has served as a beacon for women; a place where they could come for job training help, and guidance. Nearly a century later, the same legacy that forged the identity of the Honolulu YWCA continues to endure. In their nascent stage, the Honolulu YWCA helped women learn trades like sewing, cooking, and lace-making. Today, the amount of services offered through this stellar organization is astounding. Whether it's help finding housing, arts and enrichment classes, or simply helping women achieve their full potential, the Honolulu YWCA is there. With the funding they've received from the Ward Village Foundation, the YWCA will strengthen their Personal Pathways for Women initiative, which helps women find and train for future employment in the city. In their upcoming training sessions, the organization will host classes on launching a business as well as negotiating. "The trainings are bite-size and convenient for working women, as they are offered during lunch hour or right after work. These trainings are tailored to women who are just getting their foot in the door at a new job, many of whom have been through our Dress for Success career development programs," said the YWCA. "Dress for Success has an array of programs that help women find, get, and keep a good job."

To learn more about these inspiring organizations, past recipients, or how to apply for a Ward Village Foundation grant, please click here.


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