I hope you are transitioning into 2015 smoothly and the holidays were enjoyable! Here at HOK we are excited for new projects, continuing our work with the community and our continual effort to have a positive impact on our natural environment through restoration and education programs.
HOK is an entity with a small staff, with less than three full-time employees. Because of this, it's the volunteers that make HOK successful. The amount of volunteers we have had over the last 5 years equals a staff of nearly thirteen full-time employees. Over the past 5 years, we have been privileged to have a 1:27 staff to volunteer ratio, this means that for every 1 hour we work directly with a volunteer, we get 27 hours in return.
So, how does this fit into the larger context of watershed work? It's very similar to all non-profits working on social issues, we can't do it alone! We need other non-profit partners, government entities, and watershed advocates to help us achieve our goals. Most of all, we could not do it without the volunteers. This includes community members that volunteer on every projects, interns working in the office, businesses donating product for our fundraisers, students design event flyers or retired professionals analyzing water quality data.
Ultimately, we hope our work inspires you to take action, we hope our work manifests action at the government level and we hope our work can provide inspiration to the development industry to incorporate a rain garden or other ʻgreen buildingʻ techniques into their new building designs.
Through our work we are constantly monitoring our ecological progress: how has water quality improved, have we decreased stream bank erosion, have we increased the amount of pollution being captured through rain gardens and what impact are we having on community change? Many of these questions are hard to answer and take scientific monitoring, analyses and time. However, at the end of the day, we know we are having a positive impact on water quality.
One question always remains, how much of an impact we are making on how the community understands their local surroundings, the choices they make or the proactive decisions they engage in to protect ocean health. Some of our programs are helping us answer this; however, we'd love to hear directly from you, the community. Please use our volunteer feedback form to tell us how we are doing but also tell us how you are doing? What did you learn from HOK that helps you malama your ahupua'a?
Lastly, we are always grateful to have monetary donations to help us continue our interaction with the community and protect the ocean we all enjoy. Because we are small, you can be assured your donations are going to our environmental programs and not overhead and administration costs. Your donation is tax deductible and very easy though our secure PayPal. If you'd rather send a check, that can be done via mail at 1051 Keolu Dr. #208 Kailua, Hawaii 96734.
Again, mahalo for all your support over the years and in 2014. We look forward to working with old friends and partners and meeting new ones in 2015.
Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou,
Hui o Koʻolaupoko