Thankful for Community

Thankful for Community

As we roll into the cooler months we are reminded to give thanks to all those who have supported us throughout the year. We truly appreciate all the kindness bestowed upon our humble organization. We are especially grateful for those who spent their Thanksgiving Day with us to celebrate.

Homeward Bound 5K 2021

On Thanksgiving Day, we continued our legacy partnership with Punahou School’s Girls Cross Country team for the 13th annual Homeward Bound 5K. Our race to end homelessness went virtual for the second consecutive year, involving over 250 participants across the state of Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. This year saw the highest donation total yet — $37,000!

Homeward Bound is equal parts education and advocacy. While it originally started as a community give-back initiative for a senior project, this partnership continues to blossom into a mentorship-like program as it is passed down through the generations. 

Each year, two co-coordinators from the Punahou Girls Cross Country Team assist with organizing the race. The Class of 2022 Co-Coordinators, Malia Dickhens and Lauren Saunders, were selected as sophomores and learned the ropes by shadowing their predecessors. Together, they led two record-breaking races for fundraising and encouraged many first-time race participants to sign up. This year, Malia and Lauren hand-picked two successors of their own, sharing tips and how-to’s along the way to ensure the race’s future success. 

Coordinators are tasked with pitching and managing sponsors, assembling a team of race ambassadors, and overall event promotion on social media, within the running community, and to fellow cross country teams at local schools. 

New this year was the feature of peer-to-peer fundraising; not only could participants join in around the world with friends and family, they were able to gather a team of supporters and donors for the race. The ticker on the landing page, cued participants of how close donations were to meeting and exceeding fundraising goals. Thank you to all of our race participants and a big mahalo goes out to our 2021 Sponsors!

Hoohanohano ($5,000): Trinity Investments and United Healthcare
Alaka’i ($2,500): Anderson Real Estate, Atlas Insurance, Par Hawaii
Lokahi ($1,000): Hawaii Pacific Health, Lex Brodies
Kuleana ($250): BlackSand Capital, Transpacific, Halepuna Waikiki, McBeer Enterprises

Volunteers & Meals at IHS Facilities

Thanksgiving breakfast, lunch, and dinner were donated by community organizations, and volunteers helped serve the meals across the different shelters. Breakfast for the emergency shelters was donated by Dearonn and Pamela Bethea Gift Foundation, who also graciously helped serve breakfast at Sumner’s Men Shelter.  Lunch for the emergency shelters was gifted by Mo’s Hero’s Group, who also helped serve meals at the men’s shelter. 

For the 26th time Hilton Hawaiian Village provided dinner, a welcome return after the pandemic prevented their annual donation last year. Their 450 meals meant that Thanksgiving feasts were delivered to all IHS emergency and specialty shelters/houses and the Homeless Outreach and Navigation for Unsheltered Persons (HONU) program at Keehi, the State-partnered emergency shelter. 

At Kahauiki VIllage a separate Thanksgiving feast took place. The Knights of Columbus and friends built an imu and made 130 Thanksgiving meals for residents. Their Thanksgiving meals included full-sized cooked turkeys, dinner rolls, cake/brownies, rice, veggies and mashed potatoes. The ladies of Delta Kappa Gamma facilitated arts and crafts for the children. The day of festivities was organized by USO volunteers and 10 residents.

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