Here's how your support of the Sony Open in Hawaii pays it forward!  Last month Friends of Hawaii Charities distributed $1.2 million in charitable grants to over 100 local non-profits from proceeds raised through the 2020 event 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.

One of this year's charity grant beneficiaries, Touch A Heart had already been offering social services social services and meals to homeless individuals and families for ten years before revamping their mission and activities in 2014 to provide hands-on food service training and apprenticeship programs for people who face barriers to employment.  Over 90% of their graduates became gainfully employed upon completing the program. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic recession however, has taken its toll on many of their graduates who have been laid off or furloughed. To meet the needs of those struggling in the community, Touch A Heart launched its Kupuna & Family Meal program in March, offering a weekly three-meal pack pickup service through their social enterprise. This program has allowed Touch A Heart to keep the community fed with affordable meals as well as to retain all their staff and hire many of their graduates to produce the meals for this program.

“The Friends of Hawaii Charities grant funds help us to market the Kupuna & Family meal program, to encourage people to buy and support us,” said Robin Kumabe, executive director of Touch A Heart.  “All proceeds from sales remain in our nonprofit organization and help us continue and expand our programs.”

Photo by Ross Hamamura August 2018

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