What do Golfers, Swimmers, and Slippers have in common? The Kōkua Initiative!

When it comes to the Waiākea Kōkua Initiative, the experience is always uplifting as we continue to work together to strengthen our community while building relationships, strengthening friendships, and creating memorable moments.  

“If it’s one thing I love about Hilo, it is the way that people come together to uplift our community and support one another. Mahalo Hilo for being a fine example of the Spirit of Aloha.” Geoli Nawahiekaluaopele Ng, Director of the Kōkua Initiative at Waiãkea

From enjoying water at the Hilo Palace Theater to Hiloʻs own Hawaiian Telcom’s 15th Annual HIAC Golf Tournament, a fundraiser that benefits the Hawai'i Island Adult Care, Inc. (HIAC), the impact of our Waiãkea ‘ohana has been felt all over our hometown of Hilo! 

Hawaiian Telcom’s 15th Annual HIAC Golf Tournament

The Waiākea Kōkua Initiative supporting The Hawaiian Telcom HIAC Golf Tournament

HIAC is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality day care for our Kūpuna (elders) and support for their families that care for them, to ensure continued living at home - aging in place. They provide a safe, compassionate and a mentally stimulating home-away-from-home for elders and challenged adults, who need day care and attention, and stage a venue for socialization with others in their peer group.  HIAC also offers monthly Caregiver Respite Days, Support Groups, training and networking opportunities to caregivers on Hawaii Island to assist with a loved one cared for at home. They also offer weekly events for participants in the Adult Day Care Program.

The Richardson Roughwater Swim 

The Waiākea Kōkua Initiative supporting the Richardson Roughwater swim

The 33rd Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim was held earlier this month and our Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water ‘ohana and Hilo Crescent City Lions Club ‘ohana were happy to support such a wonderful event for the Hilo community.  In an event geared for swimmers with strong swimming skills, participants may encounter windy conditions, large ocean swells, along with strong currents over a one-mile course in the open ocean.

Participants of all ages from as young as 8 years old to over 80 took part in the event!

Food Drive for Hawaii Island Food Bank + Slipper Drive for Mt. View Elementary School

The Waiākea Kōkua Initiative Slippah Drive at Mt. View Elementary School

As schools reopened and students returned, we found that there was a need to keep emergency footwear on-hand at school, for the days when students attended class barefoot.  The Waiākea Kōkua Initiative was able to support Mountain View Elementary with this by running a slipper drive on Aug 7th, in partnership with the Hilo Crescent City Lions Club. Waiākea then matched the donations from the drive.  In total, 200 pairs of slippers were donated to Mt. View Elementary! 

Through our partnership with the Hilo Crescent City Lions, we collected 89 pairs of slippers, received a surprise donation of 50 backpacks from the Kiwanis Club of East Hawaii , while also supporting the Hawai'i Island Foodbank’s efforts by raising over $400 dollars and bringing in over 326 lbs of food.


Fun Fact: Every purchase of Waiãkea Hawaiian Volcanic Water goes directly to help us continue the work of the Kōkua Initiative in Hilo and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.  As of August 9, through your purchases and the kōkua of our partners, we have served over 28,000 local people this year!

To learn more about how we have given back to our community in the past, read our 2020 Kokua Initiative end-of-year summary.