Supporting Teachers And Students

By Michelle Garcia, director of community development,

Last year, the Hawaii Children’s Foundation asked how it can make the biggest impact among Hawaii’s children. Time and time again, the needs of Hawaii’s public school teachers have surfaced. The outcry for help in meeting the educational needs in our classrooms were so great, our direction was made clear. With the help of Community Helping Schools, we were able to post our first teacher Wish List on our newly developed website,


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Michelle Garcia

The first Wish List funded 100 pairs of rubber slippers posted by a student activities counselor. She says now her students at Nanakuli High don’t have to miss a class when the inevitable broken slipper happens.

Since then, has been growing steadily. To date, more than 100 classroom Wish Lists have been fulfilled through our site. Almost $30,000 in books, art supplies, musical instruments, science equipment, field trips and other resources have been delivered to classrooms throughout the Hawaiian Islands. has helped 3,560 students and counting, many of whom are from low-income communities. These students have received the tools and experiences they need for a top-notch education. Yet there are many projects that still need funding. Right now, more than 210 classroom Wish Lists await your support, and that number is growing daily. To fulfill the average Wish List costs $287.83, and the greatest challenge at to successfully meet our goals is to engage our supporters, at all levels. While we enjoy the support of some corporate sponsors and charitable grants, we look to the community for the majority of our success through at-large donations.

For as little as $5, you can have a big impact. Just ask Amy Santos, a third-grade teacher at Kaimiloa Elementary who received most of her contributions through small donations of less than $20. The school’s annual drama program impacts more than 200 students. They have learned to develop poise, self-confidence, perseverance, stage presence, risk-taking, mutual trust and language/speaking skills. With the help of and the generosity of Neal Tomita of Portlock, Kaimiloa’s Drama Program is alive and well.

For more information on how to donate and get involved, call 599-8833 or visit

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