Work And Play: Eight Nonprofits Earn Funds To Support Services
Late last month, Ward Village Foundation announced the recipients of its most recent round of grants. Launched earlier this year, the foundation is the nonprofit arm of Ward Village created to support and build the community. To do this, the foundation has committed to donating $1 million to local charitable organizations over the next two years, focusing on those that work with “culture, community and the environment.”
“We are in the community also, so we like to be able to help various initiatives and programs that give back to the local community here,” explains Katie Kaanapu, senior marketing manager of Ward Village Foundation.
The eight grant recipients are YMCA of Honolulu, Hawaii Youth Symphony, KCAA Preschool, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Hawaii HomeOwnership Center, Hawaii Theatre, Ke Aloha Hookahi Preschool and After-School All Stars.
The YMCA will put its $50,000 toward its Youth And Government program. The program serves about 100 middle and high school students annually, providing them with an opportunity to enact a legislative session — from drafting bills to presenting them to other students.
“It gives middle schoolers and high schoolers a chance to learn about the democratic process,” YMCA president and CEO Michael Broderick says. “And also, it gives them an opportunity to learn how to advocate for certain positions.”
With the grant money, Broderick hopes that YMCA can reach more children, including increasing its number of Neighbor Island students.
“I think it’s going to impact a more diverse group and a larger group,” he says.
Hawaii Youth Symphony was awarded $25,000 for its Music in the Clubhouse, which provides music education opportunities for underserved students.
KCAA Preschools will receive $25,000 for a new program to promote family engagement and learning.
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement will receive $15,000 to fund stipends for Native Hawaiian artists to participate in its conference.
Hawaii HomeOwnership Center gets $10,000 for an education program for first-time home buyers.
Hawaii Theatre gets $10,000 for its Theatre for Young Audiences program, which offers discounted ticket prices and educational materials for students.
The After-School All-Stars has also been allocated $10,000 to enable it to continue to offer after-school programs for various local middle schools.
Kakaako-based Ke Aloha Hookahi Preschool, which opened in 2012, will get $10,000 for renovations. Teaching 2to-5-year-olds, the school focuses on hands-on experiences for its keiki.
“Funds from grants like this from Ward Village really help brand-new preschools to get off the ground,” explains Desiree Ferguson, school director. “This grant is really allowing us to complete that project in a faster, more timely manner.”
Part of the renovations will include installing air conditioning in its indoor playground. Currently, the school can accommodate about 50 students, but it aims to ramp up enrollment soon.
“We’re hoping to expand in the future as the community grows with all of the homes and businesses that are moving into this area,” Ferguson says.
Ward Village Foundation will be gifting another round of grants in early 2015. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31.
Visit wardvillagefoundation.org for more information.