Kauai United Way Newsletter Header

A Message from Executive Director Scott N. Giarman

Scott Giarman
When you give your hard-earned money to a charity, you should feel good about it. You deserve it! I can’t even imagine giving to a non-profit I didn’t feel good about.

That’s what all non-profits – yes, including this one – are “selling”: the great feeling that comes from knowing you’ve done your part to make a difference about something important that matters to you.

Some are easy to feel good about because their messages are so touching. Kauai United Way is complex – not so easy. We do so much, it’s impossible to distill down to a single poignant image.

So while it’s compelling to give to a group that feeds the hungry (we do that), or gets people off drugs (we do that), or helps the homeless recover productive lives (we do that), you need to think about the many, many ways your KUW contribution gets put to excellent work solving problems, helping all Kauai people to lead as independent, productive, healthy, happy lives as our individual circumstances permit.

When you think about it, giving to KUW is a great thing to do – a true investment in our island home and our future. The 2017 Annual Campaign is here – and one you’ll definitely feel good about it.

Friendship House – Kurt’s Story

Kurt Nagata

Kurt Nagata has been a member of Friendship House since 1997. As Kurt states, he was “sick and tired of being sick and tired” because of his mental illness, and that led him to seek out ways to become healthy. The Clubhouse provided “the guidelines to recovery and the resources and the additional health and support that I needed to become a better person.” While Kurt has had his struggles, he has been able to maintain sobriety for the past 8 years and he continues daily to work towards building his supportive network.

Life is much more different for Kurt now than when he first started the Clubhouse. Kurt has become an active member in the Community. He currently serves on the Kauai Service Area Board and the Friendship Club Board of Directors. Kurt is a certified speaker and completed facilitator training through the Mental Health Transformation Grant. Since 2015, he has served as the facilitator for the Council Self-Advocacy Advisory Council. Kurt is also employed part-time in a landscaping position and is happier and healthier today than he has ever been.

Kurt remains a member of Friendship Club because it “works for him”. Kurt is warm and welcoming to the Clubhouse Members and he serves as an inspiration to many. We are quite fortunate to count him as one of our members.

A Message from Shannon Maxwell and Peter Wiederoder

We are very excited about the 2017 Annual Campaign. We pledge to do everything we can to make it a great success and reach our $650,000 goal. That would represent about 10% more than we raised last year; it won’t be easy, but with everyone’s help, we can do it!

At our Campaign Kick-Off luncheon a few weeks ago, President Ron Wiley mentioned something important that will help us get to our bold goal if we spread the word: How do you feel? It is a simple question with a powerful tie to Kauai United Way. If you want to feel better about yourself, do something for others. Clinically, it has been shown that people really do feel good when they do.

Now, if you want to do something important for others – really, for everyone on Kauai – there is no better way than a donation to Kauai United Way. One donation goes to work for our whole community. Money raised on Kauai stays on Kauai supporting more than 80 individual social service programs that turn troubled lives around daily and directly help tens of thousands of Kauai people each year.

So, go ahead – be indulgent, and do something for yourself that will make you feel great: a big donation to the people of Kauai, our island home!

PS – Don’t forget KUW’s Leadership Circle. Membership starts at $500 and earns you that blue star ($1000 for red, $2500 for green and $5000 for gold) on your name plate at our Annual Meeting!

Kauai United Way Walk A Thon

PACT – Easing the Trauma of Divorce on Children

PACTThe Parents And Children Together (PACT) Kauai Family Visitation Center provides supervised visitation and exchange services for families on Kauai. We help families by providing a safe environment where children can maintain their relationship with both parents when there has been a history of domestic violence, abuse, or trauma. Visits are held in child-friendly rooms with access to toys, games, crafts, and movies. The families that visit our center feel that the center is safe and an environment where they can enjoy time with their children. A family recently reported that, “the PACT program and staff are very friendly and supportive. My children appreciate having staff at their visits and express that they feel comfortable and like to have visits at the center.” We welcome any questions about our services. Please call 808-821-0574. We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. We provide supervised visits in the evening hours and during the weekend.

Foodland Give Aloha Kauai United Way

Catholic Charities Won’t Give Up

The Kaua‘i office of Catholic Charities Hawai‘i is preparing to celebrate the office’s 20th anniversary on the island. Though they are the smallest rural CCH office, it has earned bragging rights.

Known for a commitment to excellence, the local office encounters folks from all walks of life. Last year, over 3000 people passed through the door or phoned. Clients ranged from former millionaires who lost everything to those who have struggled their entire life, like Maile (not her real name).

Maile, adopted by a Mainland family, left Hawai‘i as an infant, but always felt called home. Abandoned, she entered foster care and spent years on metropolitan mainland streets as a teenager until she resettled in Hawai‘i. She found work and married, but dealt with domestic abuse, the death of a child, and divorce, before she slid into despair and homelessness.

When she came to CCH for support, staff helped her establish goals, encouraged her to receive medical treatment as well as counseling, and helped her enroll in a job training program. With the help of thoughtful donors and KUW funding, she is reclaiming her dignity and recreating her life.

While few things in life are guaranteed, CCH said that although Maile “has the right to give up on us, we guarantee we won’t give up on her.” New services starting this fall include a Rapid ReHousing program for homeless consumers and a Housing First pilot project. For more info, call 241-HOPE (4673).

Catholic Charities Won’t Give Up