Copy of Giving Back
Coco Moon began with the simple idea for a Hawaii-inspired baby blanket that everyone in our family would love and connect with. Since then, it’s evolved into so much more, becoming a vehicle through which we can connect with and support families in our local communities.
We always knew that we wanted to weave a giving back program into the fabric of our company. In 2017, we were able to bring this desire to life by officially launching our giving program. We loosely modeled it after Patagonia’s 1% For The Planet Foundation, donating 1% of our sales each month to local organizations doing powerful work in our communities.
Since then, we’ve grown the program to not only include cash donations made from a portion of our sales, but also product donations in kind. As of early 2020, we’ve been able to make donations to over 30 local organizations doing impactful work for our environment, our children, and the overall health of our communities. For more information on each of these organizations, please click the links below.
2020 - 2021
Though we transitioned from monthly to quarterly giving in 2019, we still felt the desire to be able to have an even greater impact in our community. And so for 2020, we decided to channel all of the donations from our giving program to a single recipient, Kapi’olani Medical Center. Because of the tremendous volume of work that Kapi'olani Medical Center does as Hawaii's only dedicated hospital for women and children, we felt that giving to their foundation would help us in our goal to impact as many newborns and Hawaii families as possible.
Our donations go directly to Kapi'olani Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Kapi'olani is home of the state’s largest and most advanced NICU, caring for over 1,000 infants a year and staffed with physicians who specialize in newborn care on-site, 24-hours a day. And because of the impact we made in 2020, we’ve decided to continue giving to Kapi'olani's NICU through 2021 as well.
To learn more about the center's work and why we chose to support them, please head over to our blog.
In 2019, we wanted to channel our giving efforts to groups working directly with children and families in Hawaii. We also wanted to deepen our impact by being able to give larger dollar amounts to each group. So instead of donating a portion of our sales monthly (as we had in year's past), we decided to make donations quarterly. Here are the quarterly beneficiaries of our giving program for 2019:
January/March - Breastfeeding Hawaii
Breastfeeding Hawai'i is the state breastfeeding coalition and the affiliate to the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Their mission is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding through the education of and collaboration with professionals involved in maternal-child health, and to serve as a community breastfeeding advocate in the State of Hawaiʻi. Their vision is that the State of Hawaiʻi perceives breastfeeding as the optimal way to nourish and nurture our children.
They plan to put the Coco Moon donation towards the Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor training hosted October 14-18, 2019 at the Waimānalo Health Center. This indigenous developed training is a 5-day, 45-hour training taught by two Native American women and will be open to Native Hawaiians across the state who are interested in becoming breastfeeding support counselors in their communities.
April/June - Family Hui Hawaii
Family Hui Hawaii builds on the strong foundation of the former Hawai'i-based Baby Hui organization, which successfully organized community-based positive parenting groups to address the issues of parenting young children since 1982. Family Hui is the only program in Hawai'i to offer this unique programming of parent education and peer support for families of young children. We love this testimonial and how it sums up the impact of this wonderful organization:
"If I had to choose one word to sum up why I love Family Hui Hawaii, it would be connection. In a world where everything has become distant and impersonal, parenting is not immune. The curriculum is fantastic and very much needed, but the connection is what makes this program invaluable. I learned a lot, but I also gained friends and community I was desperately searching for. This program is unique to all of my other resources because not only was I provided reading material but also the opportunity to connect, in person, with other parents going through the same trials at almost the same time. That made so much of a difference in my experience. We learned, laughed, admitted our mistakes, asked for advice and experienced the ups and downs together."
- Karen Doyle, Miliani Infant Group Leader
July/September - Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition Of Hawaii (HMHB)
HMHB is a local nonprofit agency that is part of a network of organizations and individuals committed to improving Hawai‘i’s maternal, child and family health through collaborative efforts in programs, public education, advocacy and partner development. They have a handful of amazing educational programs that not only educate, but empower, mothers and their families.
October/December - The Emergency Transport Program of Kapiolani Medical Center
Kapiolani Medical Center is Hawaii's only dedicated hospital for women and children, making it the only full-service specialty and children's hospital for over 2500 miles. Every year, over 250 babies from across the state and Pacific are transferred to Kapiolani in emergencies each year. Kapiolani's specialization in mother and newborn care makes it safer for all of us to have a baby in our isolated island home, no matter where you decide to give birth.
Mai Ke Kai Mai Ae Hele
Mai Ke Ea O Ka `Aina
From The Sea Shall Come
The Life Of The Land
Coco Moon channelled its 2018 philanthropic efforts with the Giving Back Program by supporting ocean-focused charities. As a local family from Maui who now raise children with the same love for the ocean, it was important to acknowledge the organizations who are dedicated to protecting and preserving Hawaiʻis precious ocean resources and practices. Here are the monthly organizations Coco Moon donated to each month of 2018:
January - Hawaii Wild Life Fund
Dedicated to conserving Hawaiʻi’s native wildlife, the Hawaii Wildlife Fund focuses it’s efforts on the protection of Hawaiʻi’s marine ecosystem and it’s inhabitants through research, education and advocacy programs. Founded in 1996 by award-winning marine biologists and conservationists, it’s roots began on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island and has since expanded statewide and into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. Of their many recovery actions, highlights include efforts to conserve the Hawaiian monk seal, Hawaiian hawksbill sea turtle, marine debris recovery, the HI-5 recycling refund, Makai Watch and statewide plastic bag ban. http://www.wildhawaii.org
February - Surfrider Foundation Hawaii
This grassroots non-profit was established by avid surfers who have been working diligently to protect and preserve the world’s oceans for over 30 years on local, regional and national levels. The Oʻahu Chapter is one of 60 local chapters of the organization throughout the United States whose mission is dedicated to improving water quality, reducing plastic marine debris, protecting public rights to beach access and ensuring ocean-friendly development on Oʻahu. They have galvanized the community to take care of our ocean by offering volunteer opportunities in the areas of clean water advocacy, beach access and preservation, litter removal and the restoration of coastal ecosystems. www.oahu.surfrider.org/
March - Pacific Whale Foundation
Founded in 1980, the Pacific Whale Foundation is committed to protecting our oceans and it’s inhabitants through research, science and advocacy efforts to protect the world’s whales, dolphins and other marine animals. Through educational opportunities like whale-watching and ecotours, they hope to educate and instill a sense of pride in the community to care for our marine life. The profits from Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Store retail and educational tours support the foundation’s research, education and conservation programs. http://pacificwhale.org/
APRIL - Na Kama Kai
With a heart for Hawaiʻi’s ocean and keiki, Na Kama Kai was established to empower Hawaiʻis youth through statewide ocean-based programs, focused specifically on ocean safety and conservation awareness. By connecting participants to the ocean, Na Kama Kai strives to inspire keiki to become stewards of the land and it’s resources. They believe that in order for children to embrace their responsibility to care for our oceans they must learn and understand their relationship to it, as expressed in their motto, “Keiki Aloha, Kai Aloha” (beloved child, beloved sea), which demonstrates the shared nurturance of both when children are connected to the ocean.
MAY - The Trust For Public Land Hawaii
For over 50 years, the Trust For Public Land has been protecting invaluable land and creating parks throughout the nation, with it’s Hawaiʻi chapter dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiʻi’s land and natural resources for nearly 40. This inspiring organization has worked to build state and national parks, conserve coasts, cultural landscapes, beaches, farms and forests. They have successfully protected land throughout the state including the sacred sites like the Kuamoʻo battlefield and burial grounds in south Kona, as well as breathtaking the Ka Iwi coastline in east Oʻahu and Paukukalo shoreline in Wailuku, Maui, amongst many others.
JUNE - Mauli Ola Foundation
The healing power of the ocean is manifested through the efforts of the Mauli Ola Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring hope and confidence in individuals living with genetic diseases. Founded by James and Charles Dunlop, the organization is supported by some of Hawaiʻi’s finest watermen and women who dedicate their time as volunteers to teach and mentor participants. Mauli Oli utilizes surfing and other ocean-based activities as a natural healing therapy to improve the quality of life for those living with genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis through a shared love of the ocean and passion for community.
JULY - Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii
This grassroots nonprofit inspires the community to care for Hawaiʻi’s coastlines through fun, hands-on beach cleanups, educational programs, waste diversion services and public awareness campaigns, including powerful visual representations of how we affect our oceans. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii believes that caring for our land and sea is a responsibility the community can and should proudly take ownership of, and by furthering the public awareness of our we affect our oceans we will be empowered to work together towards change.
AUGUST - Maui Nui Marine Resource Council
The MNMRC has been dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Maui Nui’s oceans, coral reefs and native fish for over a decade. Through their research they have worked to find effective, sustainable, culturally appropriate, science-based solutions to the issues plaguing Hawaiʻi’s coral reefs and it’s ocean inhabitants to ensure the health of our marine resources throughout Maui, Lāna’i and Kaho’olawe.
SEPTEMBER - Blue Planet Foundation
A shared passion for clean energy drives the Blue Planet Foundation towards change. Their tireless efforts have focused on seeking clean energy solutions, increasing energy education and efficiency, clean transportation and establishing clean energy policies in Hawaiʻi. Their dedication to public awareness has also resulted in the creation of Oahu’s Island Pulse kiosks which help the community understand how much energy we are using and where it comes from. Blue Planet Foundation led the 2015 campaign which resulted in Hawaiʻi becoming the first state in the nation with a 100% renewable energy law.
OCTOBER - Hawaii Nature Center
Many of us remember the Hawaii Nature Center for the frequent field trips we attended as children learning about nature. Their immersive, hands-on approach created lasting memories for generations of island keiki as well as fostered a respect and appreciation for our natural resources. Hawaii Nature Center’s Maui and Oahu locations have been steadfast in their commitment to environmental education since 1972 where they continue to run nature camps, educational and community based programs.
NOVEMBER - The Nature Conservancy
The proud history of The Nature Conservancy’s work is a testament to it’s global mission of land and water conservation. Their national organization includes over 600 scientists impacting 72 countries since 1951 and our proud Hawaiʻi chapter has been highly influential in the conservation of our own natural resources. The Hawaii Nature Conservancy has preserved nearly 200,000 acres of natural land and native species through the islands, including the likes of the Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, East Maui Watershed Partnership, Waikamoi Preserve, Pelekunu Preserve, Koʻolau Mountains Watershed Partnership, Kauaʻi Watershed Alliance and Wainiha Preserve.
DECEMBER - Surfrider Spirit Sessions
Surfing and mentorship are the values upon which the Surfrider Spirit Sessions organization is built upon. By partnering at-risk youth or “champions in training” with caring surf mentors, they are able to channel their challenges in a healthy and productive way. Their efforts have proven that by establishing a positive, nurturing connection through a positive experience like surfing, it can break the chain of criminal activity for high risk delinquents. Surfrider Spirit Sessions taps into the humanity of Hawaiʻi’s island community by providing keiki with positive role models, healthy outlets and genuine relationships to better the lives of all.
January - Trucker Dukes
As a mother, the thought of having a young child diagnosed with cancer is one of the most heartbreaking imaginable. Unfortunately for the Dukes Ohana, that nightmare became a reality when their youngest son, Trucker Dukes, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at only 19 months and given only a 30% chance of survival. Now at 3 years old, Trucker is still mightily fighting* this awful disease and has been through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and life-threatening surgeries to try to rid his body of the cancer. To learn more about this remarkable little boy and ways you can support his fight, please visit: www.teamtrucker.org
*Sadly, in March 2017, little Trucker's battle ended and he passed away while in his mother's arms. His brave soul and bright smile inspired millions. We are heartbroken by his loss and hope everyone can keep he and his family in their thoughts into the future.
February - ACLU Hawaii
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we couldn’t agree more. Our communities, and each individual within them, play a vital role in shaping the lives of our keiki, or children. It is crucial that we not only stand up for and protect our children, but also the fundamental rights of each and every person within our community.
We believe that organizations like ACLU Hawaii play a critical role in preserving the integrity of our communities. We are proud to be able to support their efforts as part of our giving program. To learn more about this organization and their efforts, please visit: www.acluhi.org
March - Women's Fund of Hawaii
When women thrive, communities prosper. The power in this simple realization is phenomenal and is not limited to developing countries. Building women up is just as important here in Hawaii, and elsewhere in developed nations, as anywhere else.
Harnessing that power and bringing it's impact to life is something to which the Women's Fund of Hawaii is dedicated. By providing grants to innovative, grassroots programs that empower women and girls in Hawaii, the organization helps the most vulnerable women and girls realize their potential, promote their financial security, and address factors that stand in the way of their success. To learn more about this organization, please visit: http://womensfundhawaii.org/
April - Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii
I’m not sure if it’s the wind and currents changing, or perhaps that we’ve hit a critical mass of waste in our oceans, but over the last few years, I have noticed a massive increase in plastics on our beaches. Have you? The biggest increase seems to be in micro plastics, which are extremely detrimental to our sea life.
The Hawaii based organization, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, is taking on the task of removing such debris and educating our children as to how to avoid it as only true environmental warriors can. We cannot applaud their efforts enough and believe that we all owe organizations like theirs a huge debt for taking it upon themselves to change our world for the better. To learn more about these rock stars of our coasts, and hopefully join in on one of their beach clean ups, please visit: http://www.sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org/
May - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawaii
When I was 6 years old, I became a "little sister" and it was one of the most positive influences in my young life. In Hawaii, we have a concept, or practice, called "hanai," where a family cares for another's child as if he/she was their own. In modern times, this term is used much more loosely, to mean anyone that you feel so close to that they are like family. My "big sister" became my hanai auntie, with our families so close that we still keep in touch to this day.
As an organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has been facilitating these types of connections for generations. These connections have tremendous potential to positively impact our keiki, and thus our entire communities well into the future. To learn more about BBBS of Hawaii, please visit: http://www.bbbshawaii.org/
June - Polynesian Voyaging Society
In 2014, the traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hōkūlea, began its voyage around the globe. After three years at sea, she triumphantly returned to Hawaii after traveling 42,000 nautical miles and visiting 150 ports in 20 countries. In doing so, the voyage and its mission is helping to inspire a global movement to mālama honua, or care for island Earth.
We love the way that the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is looking back as well as forward, reinvigorating what was once the lost art of ocean navigation without the use of modern technology, while also challenging the global community to find a better way to care for our planet. To learn more about PVS, please visit: http://www.hokulea.com/
July - Kokua Foundation Hawaii
This Foundation is inspiring the next generation of environmental warriors through environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii. They believe that our efforts in the islands can act as a microcosm to support the extrapolation of the ideas fostered here to larger communities all over the world. Their programs include school recycling, nutrition education, garden based learning, and waste management. They also provide grants to support other creative ways to engage our children in environmental education. For more information about this awesome non-profit, please visit: https://www.kokuahawaiifoundation.org/
August - UVSC
In small towns, when a member of the community falls on hard times, those around them step up to help. UVSC is taking this idea and amping it up in a huge way to give hope to those fighting cancer.
UVSC stands for U vs Cancer, but also Us vs Cancer. The dual meaning highlights how important it is for a community to rally around those fighting this awful disease. I went to high school on Maui with the founders of this organization. When one of them was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (GBM) and given 17 months to live, members of our community took it upon themselves to organize fundraising events to help him fight. Now, years later, he is one of the just 5-10% that survive GMB for five years.
To learn more about UVSC, please visit: uvsc.org
September - Project Hawaii
I first came across Project Hawai'i as I was looking for a way to donate some Coco Moon products to the homeless community. We had an error with a recent production run and some of our items were discolored. Rather than try to sell them at a discount or reuse them in some way for our purposes, we instead decided to donate them to those who could benefit from them most. A quick Google search led me to Project Hawaii and I was blown away by the tremendous work they are doing in our communities. They are reaching out, directly from their hearts, and helping our keiki to escape their cycle of poverty by helping them gain self-esteem, build life and social skills and keep them healthy.
We are so inspired by organizations like these and grateful to our Coco Moon 'ohana for enabling us to support them in meaningful ways.
To learn more about Project Hawaii, please visit: helpthehomelesskeiki.org
October - AccesSurf Hawaii
When I look back to growing up on Maui, my time in the ocean holds the most special and vivid memories. And now, if I go for more than a few days without getting in the ocean, it shows. I'm cranky, restless, and ungrounded. So the positive power of the ocean is very real for me. Perhaps that's why the mission and action of AccesSurf Hawaii rings so true in my mind.
This organization shares the joy of being in the ocean with people with disabilities by providing adaptive surfing and therapeutic educational programs on water recreation. By doing so, they enrich lives by helping families to access the beach and ocean in a barrier free environment.
To learn more about AccesSurf Hawaii, please visit: https://www.accessurf.org/
November - Hawaii Food Bank
Having food on the table is such a luxury that so many of us take for granted. But for many in Hawaii, having food to eat is not a given.
Last year, the Hawaii Food Bank shipped or distributed almost 13.8 million pounds of food throughout the state. That number is truly remarkable and we were so grateful to be able to support their efforts through our giving program.
To learn more about the Hawaii Food Bank, please visit: http://foodbank.publishpath.com/
December - Make a Wish Foundation, Hawaii
The work that this organization does to grant a child's wish is truly inspirational. There is so much magic around the holidays, but we wanted to take this month to support those that make magic happen every day of the year for children who need it most.
To learn more about Make A Wish Hawaii, please visit: http://hawaii.wish.org/