8 Ideas to Engage in Hawaii Voluntourism

Hawaii is a beautiful destination with a community that places a huge emphasis on respect and love for the land and the ocean. As a visitor, your impact can make a difference. Beyond using reef-safe sunscreen, there are numerous ways to preserve and shower love on the islands of Hawaii. 

If you want to travel AND make a positive impact, Hawaii has various voluntourism opportunities where you can contribute to the islands' sustainability. Here’s a guide to some of the best ways to give back and enrich your stay in Hawaii.


8 Exciting Hawaii Volunteer Opportunities 


1. Papahana Kuaola 

This non-profit organization focuses on the restoration of the Hawaiian culture and its stunning environment. They host community workdays every third and fourth Saturday. Tasks include native plant propagation, stream restoration, and traditional Hawaiian farming practices.


2. Hawaii Foodbank

Volunteers can assist with food inspection, sorting, and packing. Opportunities are available regularly, allowing you to ensure that food reaches those in need.


3. USFWS Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge

Based in Maui, volunteers can help restore the Hawaiian Stilt and Coot nesting habitat by replanting native plants and reintroducing an almost extinct ecosystem.


4. Ohi'a Ridge Farm

Volunteer in the forest to preserve the biodiverse habitat for endangered birds and rare plants. Volunteers can plant seedlings, weed, and water the earth to develop this native land. 


5. Moloka'i Land Trust

With aims to protect and restore the land, Moloka'i Land Trust is the perfect place to lend a hand if you value the cultural resources of the native Hawaiian people. Expect a day of getting your hands dirty by removing invasive species, planting native vegetation, seed collecting, nursery work, and plant propagation, or helping with fence repairs. 


6. Leilani Farm Sanctuary

Based in Haʻikū in Maui, this NPO homes rescued farm animals. Get involved in one of their sanctuary upkeep projects from gardening, animal grooming or feeding, maintenance repairs, carpentry, and more.


7. Surfrider Foundation – Kauaʻi and O'ahu Chapter

Show your dedication to the protection of the ocean, waves, and beaches of Hawaii with the Surfrider Foundation. In Kaua'i, become part of their Wednesday net patrol to collect and dispose of derelict fishing gear at various coastlines. In turn, you'll be saving the lives of marine wildlife that are harmed by these nets.

Surfrider also has an O'ahu Chapter that often runs events to keep O'ahu beaches clean. 


8. North Shore Stables

Teaming up with North Shore Stables involves weeding and clearing invasive species and then replanting Native Hawaiian shoreline plants. These plants uphold and build sand dunes, preventing erosion and protecting against sea level rise. 


Opportunities Close to Waikiki Resort Hotel

While many of these voluntourism programs are spread throughout Hawaii, here are the places we've mentioned that are easily accessible from the Waikiki Resort Hotel.

  • Papahana Kuaola: Located in Kaneohe, approximately a 30-minute drive from Waikiki. Head north on HI-63 (Likelike Highway) and continue on HI-83 (Kahekili Highway).
  • Hawaii Foodbank: Located in Honolulu, about a 20-minute drive from Waikiki. Take Ala Moana Boulevard west and merge onto Nimitz Highway.
  • North Shore Stables: Located in Waialua, about a 1 to 1.5-hour drive from Waikiki. Take H-1 West, then H-2 North, and continue on HI-99 (Kamehameha Highway) to Waialua Beach Road.
  • Surfrider Foundation: Volunteer events for Surfrider happen at various locations in O'ahu. Look out for their flags and join the team in keeping the shore clean. 


Making an Impact With Hawaii Volunteer Programs

By participating in voluntourism activities, you not only contribute to the well-being of Hawaii's environment and communities but also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the islands. 

For more inspiration, see our blog on Giving Back to the Islands and visit the Malama Hawaii Program page. They're a statewide initiative that encourages mindful traveling. Volunteer groups and industry partners have developed this program to make it easy for tourists to find various volunteer activities and events. Opportunities to volunteer are often determined by seasons, weather, and current needs. Make sure to check the relevant link to sign up and confirm the details.

Aloha and happy volunteering!