It takes a village to raise a child, a Hui to raise a parent. A 2020 Friends of Hawaii Charities grant beneficiary, Family Hui Hawaii knows how important it is for families to stay connected through their parenting journeys.  The organization aims to support, encourage, and empower families to meet the challenges of raising children by providing a safe and nurturing environment for them to grow, thrive, and learn from each other.  How to gather the ohana together during an unprecedented global crisis?

Family Hui Hawaii moved their Neighborhood Hui support groups online before the first official shutdown in the islands was announced.  Their Online Hui developed with specific Covid-related topics to address immediate needs and concerns. In addition, Family Hui also launched Parent Cafes, 4-week virtual support groups focusing on a relevant parenting topic, with a Family Hui staff member facilitating the discussion. Parents from across the islands are welcome to join any session, with sessions offered 4 days a week.

Through the Parent Cafes, Family Hui learned that many families were deeply affected by the pandemic and in need of basic supplies.  In late June, Family Hui kicked off the first of their Drive By/Pick Up events with partners, the Aloha Lives Here Campaign, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies and Diane McElroy of the Kaneohe Neighbor Pantry, distributing free diapers and baby wipes, jars and pouches of baby food, adult and keiki face masks, books, bubbles and craft kits, parental vitamins, personal hygiene gift bags and more to local families. Their second Drive By event takes place today, August 31st with Family Hui Hawaii expecting to serve more than double the number of families participating in June.

"The support from Friends of Hawaii Charities and other valuable community partners enabled our organization to continue and expand our free services for families throughout the shutdown and ongoing global pandemic," said Jamie McOuat, Family Hui Hawaii's Family Program Specialist. "Covid restrictions forced us to innovate, so now we serve more families without our former geographical barriers."

This year Friends of Hawaii distributed $1.2 million in charitable grants to over 100 local non-profits from proceeds raised through the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii with support from long-time charity partner, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, which matches funds raised at the tournament dollar-for-dollar; and from title sponsor Sony Corporation, host site Waialae Country Club, and state sponsor Hawaii Tourism Authority.

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