Island Volunteering—Maui on My Mind

I’ve got Hawaii on the mind lately. I haven’t been in ages, but I am fixated these days (and nights–the islands are in my dreams too). I’ve only been twice, and so far, only to Kauai, but Hawaii truly holds a special place in my heart and I long to return again and again–next time, I think, to Maui.

Whenever I am lucky enough to get there, I’ll first be consulting Volunteer Vacation on Hawaii, a grassroots website/organization that provide information on projects that need visiting help, where you can donate some of your vacation time to a worthy island cause. The information portal is actually an outreach program of an award-winning bed & breakfast, the Hale Ho’okipa Inn Makawao, which has itself been noted for community involvement and volunteer programs (plus you get a discount on your stay there if you jump into a project). There’s a pretty good list of projects and links to find out more, from working with the whale foundation, coastal land trust, and environmental education programs, to trail improvement, botanical garden and aboretum work, and the surf rider foundation. It’s a nicely rounded, broad menu from which to choose, and if you can’t find something the light your fire among their direct listings and pertnerships, there are links to broader organizations as well.

From the website: The Hawaiian concept of Laulima translates to “many hands.” Laulima is how we carry the canoe to the water,  how we clean old nets off the beach,  how we clear the grass and replant the native forest,  how we pass rocks one hand to the other to repair the fish ponds. These activities give us the opportunity to meet new people,  use our skills, learn new ones, and to have fun while giving back to the islands we love.

I don’t know how long I will have to wait, but I am eagerly anticipating Laulima work on Maui. It’s a great word and concept to keep in mind wherever your travels take you on your next vacation.

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