“Philanthropists Partnering for a More Perfect Kaua‘i” is the tagline of Aloha Angels. This breathtakingly bold, new and already successful group was established primarily to raise private funds for each of the 10,000 students and teachers at the 13 public elementary and charter schools on Kaua‘i.
Individuals, philanthropists, businesses and foundations are being invited to donate to the Aloha Angels Fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, the state’s leading philanthropic organization, with about $500 million under management.
Those who donate $10,000 or more are designated as Aloha Angels. At informal, intimate gatherings, Angels will discuss with community leaders and experts ways to form a more perfect Kaua‘i, starting with young people.
Six have already earned their wings and halos as Aloha Angels, said Ric Cox, the group’s president. Among them are Rotary Club of Kapa‘a Foundation; Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay; and Jonathan McRoberts, a member of the Hanalei Bay club. Three chose to remain anonymous.
The total donated or pledged to date is $226,000. Of that, nearly $104,000 was donated to Aloha Angels by Rotary Club of Kapa‘a Foundation, which has adopted all 48 classrooms at Kapa‘a Elementary School, as well as five after-school clubs; and has funded Junior Achievement courses in schools throughout Kaua‘i.
Although the initial focus is on major gifts, anyone is welcome to donate $25 or more to the fund. Donations are tax-deductible, through HCF’s 501(c)(3) status.
Email Cox at AlohaAngelsFund@gmail.com for details on how to donate.
Aloha Angels will support the island-wide expansion of Adopt a Class, Adopt an After-School Club and other successful initiatives that have, in six years, generated $814,000 in donations for the benefit of Kaua‘i students and teachers.
The group’s initial 2015 fundraising goal of $100,000 was surpassed in one week. The ultimate goal, said Cox, is to provide grants, mostly to students and teachers, of $1 million every year.
Having raised $405,000 for education in 27 months, as Youth Services Chair of the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, Cox is confident that those lofty goals can be met.
“As a newcomer to Kaua‘i, I have been amazed at the willingness of residents, business owners and philanthropists to give generously to boost the morale and performance of our students and teachers,” he said.
Grants totaling $132,800 were announced last week: $54,600 to adopt, at $700 each, all 78 elementary classrooms at Kapa‘a, ‘Ele‘ele and Kula Aupuni Niihau; $35,200 to the Parent Teacher Student Associations at five elementary schools, for a combined 32 after-school clubs, each quarter, at Kilauea, ‘Ele‘ele, Kanuikapono, Kapa‘a and Hanalei; $25,000 to Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i; $18,000 to Growing Our Own Teachers on Kaua‘i. A grant of $14,700 was offered to adopt the 21 classrooms at Kekaha, once that school establishes a PTSA.
The remaining $93,000 already raised or pledged. All new donations will be awarded in coming months to support Aloha Angels programs islandwide.
Advisors to Aloha Angels are: Bill Arakaki, superintendent of schools; Marie Terry-Bivens, clinical psychologist; Bernard Carvalho, Jr., county mayor; John Ferry, president, Bali Hai Realty; Sherry Gonsalves, principal at Kilauea School; Jessica Kerber, a teacher at Hanalei Elementary School; Katie Vercelli, regional director of the Hawai‘i State PTSA; and JoAnn Yukimura, county council member.
In addition to Adopt an After-School Club and Adopt a Class, Aloha Angels will support Adopt a Teacher Candidate, Adopt a Teacher’s Project (on DonorsChoose.org), Adopt a Computer, Adopt a 3D Printer and Adopt a Junior Achievement Class. Each donor can choose which programs to support at what levels at which schools.