Kids Hurt Too

December 24th, 2010

Holiday season got you feeling a bit introspective and more emotional these days? Or you’ve been  considering the personal footprint you’re going to leave on this world? If so, you’re not alone. We baby boomers are “at that age”.  We want less, less stuff.  But we want more, more meaning in the years we have to look forward to and many of you are making huge effects on how Hawaii is being shaped for the future.

I’ve been meeting people in our community who are contributing in major ways by their acts of generosity and kindness.  The folks at Group 70 represent a business that has never lost its core mission through the decades and while they continue in their success they have maintained a clear focus on how their work can emanate positive effects in the community.  Then there is a small cadre of people, year after year, who’ve been donating their time every week to record books and texts for the blind.  Paul Berry and Helen Noh Lee (my mother) are among them.  For years Matt Levi has quietly initiated programs at public housing, in Kalihi, providing young people with alternative activities and a place where they find nurturing and hope. There are many individuals and teens who volunteer at the Food Bank, at IHS, Y.O… and there is a hui that focuses on kids and children who cannot protect themselves.  One of these organizations is called Kids Hurt Too.

Their work focuses on children who are victims of child abuse, neglect, parental substance abuse, death or separation; all life’s cards dealt to little guys who may develop behavioral problems that lead to other issues as adults.  Major life changes and loneliness affect children just much as they affect any of us. Perhaps even in a more profound way.  The Out Reach for Grieving Youth Alliance was founded in 2001 and since then they’ve created four organizations: Kids Hurt Too (peer support and mentoring programs for orphans, foster kids, and children separated from one or both parents due to divorce and incarceration), Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition (HFYC), a youth led group of current and former foster youths (14-24) and educational services that train volunteers to work with grieving children, crisis interventions for families with children when a suicide, homicide, or violent death occurs in their world.

It’s the season of families gathering and holiday celebrations for most of us.  This year perhaps we can all consider alternatives to buying yet another gadget or piece of clothing and instead make a cash donation to any number of worthy non profit organizations. If you can’t contribute kala there is always a need for your time and other kinds of support. Happy Holidays everyone. Life is Good.

Contact: Cynthia White,  Executive Director, Kids hurt too & HFYC  808-545-5683

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Contributed by Life is good By Edgy Lee,  Star Advertiser