Sharecare and HMSA: Working Together with Laulima Giving Program

Laulima Giving Program is a joint effort of Keiki O Ka ‘Aina and KHON2.

Sharecare and HMSA: Working Together with Laulima Giving Program

Medically reviewed in December 2020

When you think of Kalihi, chances are you think of the loud, busy, industrial area between School Street and the Pacific. But head inland a little way and Kalihi transforms into a lush valley that feels worlds away from the bustle of Town. There, nestled into several pristine acres, sits the main campus for Keiki O Ka ‘Aina, or KOKA.

Children of the land
Keiki O Ka ‘Aina, meaning “children of the land,” started in 1996 as a parent-child interaction preschool for low-income families. The brainchild of founder and Executive Director Momi Akana, it gained local fame in 2007 after being featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Today, KOKA’s central operations have grown to include home-visiting services, center-based preschools, community enrichment, environmental sustainability and Hawaiian cultural learning. Still run out of the community center created on Extreme Makeover, the Christian organization primarily supports the Native Hawaiian community, though as Akana points out, “We serve everybody.”

The Laulima Giving Program is one of the many initiatives KOKA runs. “Laulima” translates to “many hands working together,” which is the underlying principle of the program. “One of the things we have noticed through the years is that all of our programs work with families who need more than our educational or family strengthening services can provide,” says Akana.

KOKA, in partnership with KHON2, aids those families with donated goods, enriching experiences and financial assistance.

Doing the most for the community
Every year Laulima has two major drives: back-to-school and adopt-a-family.

  • Back-to-school sets students up for success by equipping them and their teachers with educational supplies.
  • Adopt-a-family brightens the holiday season for families in need with presents, housewares and financial donations.

For these two drives, Laulima accepts both donated goods and funds from the community.

Laulima is unique in that it does not warehouse goods. As Akana puts it, “In a lot of ways, we act as a pass-through.” Donations are quickly distributed, which allows for low overhead costs.

Outside of annual drives, Laulima gives back to the community year-round when families are in need, such as in the wake of a natural disaster, or when individuals find themselves or a partner temporarily out of work for reasons like illness or incarceration.

Akana emphasized that in addition to the chronically poor, Laulima helps anyone who needs assistance: “It’s those families who think ‘No, I don’t need any help,’ and then the week before Christmas realize: ‘Holy cow, there aren’t going to be any presents this year!’”

Through the Laulima Giving Program, thousands of Hawaii residents—across all islands—have received the aid they needed at a critical time.

Making a difference with Sharecare and HMSA
Sharecare and HMSA have teamed up to donate up to $100,000 to the Laulima Giving Program. To get started, download the Sharecare app for iOS or Android and take the RealAge Test. For every new Hawaii-based user to take it, Sharecare will donate $5 across five charities, including the Laulima Giving Program. From there, track your green days! For each green day earned, Sharecare will donate an additional $1, up to $30 in one month. It's a great way for you to both give back to the community and improve your health with Sharecare.

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