Touch A Heart was recently presented with a $20,000 donation from Mikilua Farm Center that will go toward our "Transforming Lives" campaign. This gift was perfectly timed around Valentine's Day as it reminded us of the love and support in our community.
Mikilua Farm Center was incorporated in 1954 as a nonprofit by Waianae Coast farmers to promote and support agriculture, education, culture, and the arts, as well as provide for charitable causes. Due to attrition, retirement, aging, and fewer members, the board and remaining members decided to dissolve the organization and donate its assets to deserving 501(c)(3) organizations.
The board learned about Touch A Heart through acquaintances, including our former executive chef/trainer Chad who worked with us from 2017 to 2019. "We picked Touch A Heart as one of the deserving participants because of their service to the community," board treasurer Nilda said.
Chad, who is now the general manager at Hawaii Food Products, entered our lives after he fell ill. "I realized time is short and I was blessed in many ways that I needed to give back," he said, noting that he always wanted to serve his community and that he learned about Touch A Heart through a friend of a friend.
After meeting with our leaders Robin and Colin, Chad joined our ohana. "I truly enjoyed seeing the students' faces light up when they learned how to cook and use a knife properly, and the connections between them and the people at Central Union Church and Kalihi Union Church," he said. "It showed the students that someone truly cared about them with no ulterior motives. People from the church opened their heart to show compassion for the cohorts and break stereotypes."
Chad also shared why his heart is always with us: "I truly believe in supporting a worthy cause. People need a second chance in life. People talk about the drug and homeless problems, but Touch A Heart is there to change their lives in a positive way and show them that God cares."