To Volunteer is to Mālama

This headline in my local paper hurt my heart today:

“State ranked among the lowest in volunteering”

From the Associated Press for the West Hawaii Today

“Hawaii residents are among the stingiest in the nation in volunteering their time, according to a national report released Monday.”


Well, I do like this attitude:

“We’re all going to the drawing board and taking a look at this,” said Lynn Dunn, state director of the CNCS (Corporation for National Community Service, the federal agency which conducted the study) “”to me there’s no bad news here; it’s a good way to raise the issue of volunteering in America, and all of us know we can’t just depend on government to address and support our communities. Volunteering is a way we can all get involved.”

When my children were younger, most of our volunteering was with the neighborhood sports they were constantly involved in. These days, Managing with Aloha has very naturally led me back to many school campuses again, however this article is giving me pause to think of more ways I can extend my mālama and aloha for our community locally.

What are you doing?
Can we give each other more ideas for involvement?

Related articles in the local news (the print I’m reading is not online, but these are similar):

Ranking surprises local charities

Hawaii ranks near bottom for volunteers
And an update:
Volunteers just don’t like to brag

Congratulations to the states making the top of the list for their volunteering; these were the top 5:

  1. Utah
  2. Nebraska
  3. Minnesota
  4. Iowa
  5. Alaska


  1. says

    Rosa, there is always something to the results of a survey. I would look carefully at the methods and the questions before jumping to conclusions about the results.
    A survey done on donation habits had panned the folks here in New England and particularly MA about how stingy they were. Turns out the study was flawed in several ways that unnecessarily elevated the Southern states and lowered the New England states.
    But if the study is correct then there is a great opportunity to increase and highlight some volunteer options.

  2. says

    Absolutely Steve, I know you are right. I chose to highlight that quote because I agree that we can simply take the opportunity to think about our own involvement and start with improvements in a personal way – we know our own truths!
    This was another view in that other link I offered, that the “Ranking surprises local charities:”
    “My experience is that people in Hawai’i do want to help,” said Margot Schrire, who manages 3,000 volunteers at the Institute for Human Services. “That (the survey) does surprise me because at IHS volunteers are really the backbone of what we do here. Volunteering is a real powerful way that people can make a tangible difference in their community.”
    “Butch Dela Cruz, executive director of the Aloha Medical Mission, said the results of the study surprised him because his group has had little trouble finding its 3,000 volunteers.”