Author: Stanford Ono – Vice President & Branch Manager
I came across some troubling numbers recently. On a recent ranking of the most charitable states, I was sure that Hawaii would rank near the top of the list. I was disappointed to see Hawaii is ranked #46.
To be fair, one cannot look at this ranking without also looking at the list of states with the highest cost of living. Here, unfortunately, we have the dubious distinction of ranking #1 overall.
The struggle is real
To add insult to injury, in addition to living in the most expensive state in the nation, we also have one of the lowest salaries relative to other states. Living in this environment, most people can’t fathom the idea of giving back to the community while they’re struggling to build a career, raise a family, or simply keep their heads above water. But giving back can be personally enriching in ways most people never think about.
How to support your community on a budget
Giving back doesn’t have to be about writing a big check. Here are some other ways to give back:
- Donate your time
Your time could be priceless to an organization in need. Whether it’s painting a building or restoring an ancient fishpond. A little bit of elbow grease on weekends could go a long way.
- Donate your skills
If you have a special skill, such as accounting, public relations, photography, etc. Consider offering work pro bono to organizations that could use it. Most charities will have a need for these services, but cannot afford the staff. Your expertise will be greatly appreciated in serving on a board, where you are the subject matter expert for your specialty.
- Find out how your employer is giving back
Most companies and organizations give back to their local community. Again, this may be through volunteerism or even participating in a fundraising event. Many businesses find non-profit organizations that align with their area of work or values. Don’t hesitate to get involved and participate in giving back!
As with most volunteer opportunities, the rewards could be just as fulfilling as the work you put in. Volunteering feels good, especially if it aligns with your personal mission/goals. It gives you the opportunity to network with like-minded people and develop personal and professional relationships outside of work. And finally, you can experience the feeling of making a positive difference in people’s lives.
Annual Central Pacific Bank Walk
Since Central Pacific Bank launched its annual Walk fundraiser in 2010, the event has raised over $960,000 for Hawaii nonprofits selected by the bank’s employees. Each year, employees host various fundraising events, such as food and bake sales. The Walk marks the culmination of two months of fundraising efforts by the company's employees.
At Central Pacific Bank, our employees consistently stand above the crowd at charitable events in number and enthusiasm. Many of them also contribute by serving on boards of community and nonprofit organizations. CPB offers its employees 24 hours each year in community service paid leave (CSPL), which allows employees to volunteer with non-profit organizations.