Connecting Volunteers With Opportunities

By Ryan Leong, executive director, Hands In Helping Out

Hands In Helping Out started very simple. My friends and I wanted to volunteer in the community, and I was chosen to find us new volunteer opportunities. From the first phone call to an agency, we started to learn valuable lessons about volunteerism. Through the ups and downs, we slowly became the present-day incarnation of HIHO. We felt that volunteers had specific needs, and that these needs were being underserved. To remedy this, we decided to create an agency that would focus solely on volunteers’ needs experiences.


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Ryan Leong

HIHO has since become a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and a leader in volunteer recruitment, placement and advocacy with programs that include volunteer training and on-site volunteer management. We have incentive programs that keep volunteers engaged through the years and sustain our volunteer retention rate at a whopping 86 percent, 39 percent above Hawaii’s average of 47 percent.

HIHO also partners with local nonprofits, including Kokua Kalihi Valley Hooulu Aina Program, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Special Olympics Hawaii, Lanakila Pacific, Hawaii Literacy, Papahana Kuaola, Hawaii Nature Center, KAUPA, Kukui Children’s Foundation, Kids Hurt Too, Waikiki Aquarium and Aloha Harvest. Our partnerships allow HIHO to help these nonprofits and the people they serve by providing a skilled, motivated volunteer force.

Our mission statement is to increase volunteerism on the island of Oahu by assisting individuals and groups to serve the community through volunteer opportunities that match their abilities, lifestyle and personal interests. It is because of our unique mission that we have gained an ally in our cause.

“Volunteers make it possible for nonprofit organizations to help and better our communities,” said ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro. “I believe service-minded people build and strengthen communities, which is why I support HIHO.”

Shimabukuro will volunteer his talent alongside special guest Paula Fuga to perform at HIHO’s Give+Take benefit concert Sunday (May 26) at The Pineapple Room. This limited seating event includes dinner, concert and the chance to bid on custom Jake Shimabukuro Ukuleles. All proceeds will go toward fulfilling HIHO’s mission of sustainable volunteerism.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit For more on HIHO, visit

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