ProjectFocus Hawaii Bids Aloha
ProjectFocus Hawaii (PFH) began in 2005 as a community service project to give at-risk children a healing voice through the medium of photography. The premise was simple. Teach children how to use a film camera to take a photo of someone important in their life and write a short narrative about that individual. The project culminated with a reception to unveil the photos taken by the children alongside the portraits we took of them.
Over the years, ProjectFocus Hawaii grew in scope, becoming an actual summer internship with the addition of a robust curriculum that included excursions and activities that these children might not have had an opportunity to experience. From a Waikiki catamaran cruise to cooking with Hawaiiʻs top chefs, to shopping sprees at Macyʻs and meeting a few celebrities along the way, our PFH keiki sure had a fun-filled summer. Oh, and by the way, they also became excellent photographers!
We also became an official nonprofit organization – something that wasnʻt even on our radar! In recent years, we broadened our mission to work with kūpuna in our communities and provided photography support to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Childrenʻs “Wall of Hope” exhibit. We were delighted to meet these individuals and share their remarkable stories through photography.
On that note, it is with a heavy heart that we are ending ProjectFocus Hawaii at the end of 2021. What started as a labor of love grew into something we couldnʻt have imagined in our wildest dreams. So many wonderful children and adults have touched our lives through ProjectFocus Hawaii and we are grateful to have met each and every one of them and their families.
To all of the nonprofit organizations that we worked with since 2005 – mahalo for the exceptional work you do and for entrusting us with the children and individuals you serve. It has been a privilege to work with your beneficiaries. We also appreciate the generosity of our community partners and businesses who went out of their way to ensure that our PFH interns had the experiences of a lifetime. Finally, our deepest gratitude to our donors for your generous support that allowed our small, but mighty nonprofit to fulfill its mission of giving our interns an opportunity to shine.
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” We hope we accomplished this for all of the children and adults we worked with over the years. They have taught us what it means to be resilient despite difficult circumstances, and we are honored to have been a part of their lives.
Laurie and Lisa