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You may wonder what volunteering can do for the environment or for your wallet. Giving your time, energy, and mana'o (Hawaiian word for thoughts or beliefs) is actually one of the best things you can do for yourself and the 'aina. Time spent volunteering is time away from expensive activities and, best of all, its very enjoyable.

There are plenty of beach clean-up activities throughout the year on beaches across the state that are easy to get involved in. Just showing up and picking up a trash for a little while is always appreciated. There are also lots of opportunities to help with invasive species eradication projects. You get to learn about native and introduced species, spend a few hours in a beautiful location, and work off some of your stress by ripping out plants that are damaging our ecosystems.

Volunteering is great for your health, too. Many volunteer opportunities involve being outside, getting exercise, meeting new people, and feeling good about some time well spent. In our hectic lives, it is a wonderful balance to have some time every month that you give of yourself freely and without expectations. A great place to find volunteer activities in Hawai'i is, a site connected to the Aloha United Way. Healthy Hawai'i Coalition has a listing on this website and it has brought many wonderful volunteers and friends our way.