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HUGS HAWAII VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT HUGS

Volunteers are the lifeline of HUGS. It is through their tireless dedication that HUGS is able to continue serving Hawaii's seriously ill children and their families.



CLICK HERE TO WATCH HUGS STORY VIDEO

Volunteer opportunities include:

Family Programs

  • Respite, Family Dinner, Sibling Camp, Hospital Visitation
  • Interact with and provide care and support to HUGS children and their families.

Office Support

  • Assist HUGS staff with computer data entry, phone calls, mailings, and office maintenance.

Special Events

  • Assist with specially planned community outreach and fundraising events.

Volunteers are asked to make a commitment of at least 20 hours of service within a continuous four (4) month period.


Interns


HUGS offers unpaid internships on a semester (fall, spring, and summer) basis. Typically two to four interns are accepted per semester.

Internship requirements include:

  • Current college enrollment
  • Commitment of a minimum 180 hours of work
  • Completion of a HUGS volunteer application
  • Completion of HUGS volunteer orientation and training

HUGS PHILOSOPHY

HUGS is an organization dedicated to providing support and enhancing the quality of life for Hawaii ‘s seriously ill children and their families. We accept our families exactly where they are, so to speak, at their present emotional, physical or spiritual level. Our non-judgmental approach quickly establishes rapport and increases the comfort level between the families and HUGS staff. If a particular need is outside the scope of our services, we aggressively network with those agencies that can fill the gaps. HUGS membership is non-disease specific and all of our services and programs are completely free of charge to families residing in Hawai'i who meet our eligibility criteria.

At HUGS, we recognize that families are continuously challenged financially, spiritually, and emotionally. They are constantly faced with a myriad of issues related to their child's condition. Serious illness can impact each individual member of the family in very significant and often different ways. For this reason, HUGS' approach is holistic in nature. Programs are designed to provide support to all family members. We strive to keep the family together in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Here at HUGS we do not use words like "terminal" or "hospice." Most of our children survive and stay with us for a period of several years while their family copes with diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Then, when the time is right, the family moves on, but only when they feel ready. HUGS is not a bereavement group. HUGS is a joy centered place where there is always a lot of fun and family oriented activities.

History

Founded in 1982, HUGS was the concept of a small group of volunteers who recognized the many challenges and stressors that families with seriously ill children may face. They dedicated themselves to establishing an agency that would provide support, compassion and aloha. Since its inception, HUGS has continued to grow in family numbers and services backed by a firm commitment that no family who qualifies will ever be turned away.



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HUGS Programs

HUGS provides services at no cost to qualified families

Monthly and Emergency Respite

HUGS provides parents and caregivers the opportunity for much needed personal time away from the intense demands of caring for a seriously ill child. Free childcare is offered in a safe and supportive environment so that parents have time away to do whatever they wish. HUGS also offers emergency respite assessed on a case-by-case basis according to need and staffing.

Monthly Family Events

Monthly dinners allow parents time to relax, share information and provide support and fellowship to one another in a non-threatening, caring environment.

Peer Support Groups

Peer support gatherings provide a non-judgmental environment for specific peer groups. These fun, focused activities allow participants to freely share feelings while supporting one another within a group that understands the experiences and challenges they all face.

Hospital Outreach

HUGS staff and trained volunteers make regular visits to local hospitals to visit children and their families. As part of the outreach, HUGS offers:

  • Silver Lining Toy Chest -- New toys and gift cards are given to children undergoing painful treatments such as a spinal tap or bone marrow aspirations.
  • Laughter Wagon -- Trained volunteers engage children, teens and siblings with interactive games and activities that help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Airfare Fund

This fund allows eligible families to receive emergency airfare assistance in order to transport their child and required family members to Oahu or the mainland for necessary medical treatment and procedures. Eligibility is based on financial need.

Kokua Kupboard

Since 1985, HUGS has accessed the Hawaii Foodbank as well as solicited assistance with donations from the community in order to provide food to needy HUGS families in need.

Funeral Fund

The fund provides up to $1,000 to HUGS families to assist with funeral arrangements after the death of a beloved child. Eligibility is based on financial need.

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