By: J. S.
Volunteering can be a great way for individuals and families to build a sense of connection during this time where staying connected with the broader community can often feel difficult. As the state of Hawaii continues to open up there are several volunteer opportunities available in our island communities. Various organizations are offering volunteer events with precautions in place to comply with current state emergency mandates.
Beyond donating time to important local causes, there are also great health benefits associated with volunteering. The Mayo Clinic found that volunteering can assist in lowering levels of depression and increasing a sense of purpose among participants. Volunteer efforts can also produce life skills and help participants feel connected to others in the community through a positive common cause.
The last year has caused many popular volunteering opportunities to temporarily close due to restrictions and cautionary measures taken on by different organizations. Popular locations such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have temporarily closed down many attractions and are currently not accepting volunteers.
On the other hand, the Hawaii Food Bank is recognized as an essential service and is gladly accepting volunteers to assist with food donations. Aloha Food Harvest is also open for volunteers to help with community clean-ups, food pick-ups and other community assistance programs.
We’ve compiled a short list of current family friendly volunteer opportunities across the state of Hawaii for those looking to give back to island communities, or simply engage in a great family bonding experience and get outdoors to enjoy beautiful Hawaii weather.
Looking for an opportunity to get out in nature? The Volcano Arts Center hosts volunteer events to help with forest work days and more through their website.
The Honolulu Zoo is open to volunteers 18 and older. Several positions are open, such as volunteering as a front desk greeter or a junior leader. Current positions are posted on the Zoo’s website.
The Hawaii Food Bank is accepting volunteers to help with daily food inspection on Oahu. Both groups and individual volunteers can sign-up on the organization’s website to help during designated shifts.
Kanu Hawaii just hosted its virtual event for volunteer week from April 18-24, and there are still ongoing opportunities to get involved in events. Kanu Hawaii offers a portal for both volunteers and organizations wishing to host events. Interested volunteers will find Diamond Head State Monument clean-ups available through their online calendar.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. The Kauai chapter of the foundation hosts beach clean-ups and net patrols to help keep Kauai’s beaches safe for wildlife and humans. Volunteer opportunities are available on their website along with a calendar of upcoming events. Follow the information on their website to reach out and learn about different ways to help out and keep the shores of Kauai beautiful and clean!
Volunteers can get out into nature with Maui Cultural Lands. A group meets each Saturday for regular maintenance work projects dedicated to preserving the Honokowai Valley. Visit their website to learn about how to volunteer, what to bring, and what to expect during the meet-up.
Whether you’re interested in volunteering from afar or like the idea of having a long distance pet, the Lanai Cat Sanctuary may be the perfect fit! The sanctuary has rescued over 3,000 cats since it was founded in 2006, and their efforts also help to protect lanai’s bird population. Interested donors can sponsor a cat at the shelter and receive updates of your furry friend from Lanai! Find details on their website.
The Molokai Land trust was founded by a group of dedicated Molokai residents with the mission of preserving and stewarding the important cultural and natural resources of the island. Though it is currently closed to volunteers, the group posts updates on their website.