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Big Things are Happening at YWCA of Hawai`i Island

I’m on a mission.

Each day I’m humbled and amazed to think that this legacy institution I’m so honored to lead has been serving Hawai`i County for more than 100 years. With your help, it will continue to do so for the next century, and beyond.

What started in 1919 Hilo town as the “Young Women’s Christian Association” is today officially known as YWCA of Hawai`i Island, embracing the diversity of religions, beliefs and values that make up our community. Still headquartered in downtown Hilo, we have evolved to become part of the fabric of our island community—an island-wide safety net ensuring that our keiki have the best possible start in life; that our families are well-supported; and that our most vulnerable citizens are empowered to heal and thrive.

We are part of YWCA USA, the nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. It is one of the oldest and largest multicultural organizations promoting solutions to enhance the lives of women, girls and families.

But we (and all YWCAs) are an independent, autonomous organization directed by our own Board of Big Island community leaders. Guided by our mission, we are empowered to pinpoint our most pressing community needs, and provide services in direct support of those needs.

Today, we address these needs via our three cornerstone programs: Healthy Families, YWCA Preschool and Sexual Assault Support Services. Our 40+ employees serve thousands of keiki, families and survivors of sexual violence, island-wide, year-round.

As our island community grows and grapples with new challenges, we must be ready. YWCA of Hawai`i Island is preparing to build on its firm foundation so we can serve our unique island community to our highest capabilities.

I invite you to join me on this mission. Stay tuned.

Me ke aloha pumehana,


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