Mililani girls pitch in, again
Every year the annual Honolulu Advertiser Christmas Fund receives donations from large corporations and foundations to be used to serve needy families throughout the state.
But a significant portion of the total contribution amount also comes in from everyday people of all ages, as well as small grassroots groups.
The Mililani Volleyball Club — seven teams made up of area girls ages 11 through 17 — falls into the latter category. In 2009, as they have in past years, the team members raised money for the Christmas Fund the old-fashioned way — by working for it.
"What we did was tell the girls about the Christmas Fund and asked them, on a strictly voluntary basis, if they wanted to do extra chores and just donate a couple of dollars," said coach David Lee. "As a team working together, everyone chipping in just a little bit, we could put together a good amount of money."
Lee said the idea was for the players to actually do something to earn the money instead of simply asking their parents for a handout. The junior athletes liked the idea, and Lee said a new tradition was created. This year the 77 members of the club gave $300 to the Christmas Fund.
"We rely on the generosity of the entire community, and when young girls such as these pitch in out of their own pockets, it means all the more," said Brian Schatz, chief executive officer of Helping Hands Hawaii, a Christmas Fund partner organization and nonprofit clearinghouse for service agencies throughout the state.
Schatz will present the Mililani Volleyball Club with a public service certificate as a way of expressing thanks for the team effort in helping others who are less fortunate.