2022 Annual Report to the Community | YMCA of Honolulu | Honolulu, Hawai‘i | www.ymcahonolulu.org

About the Y

Annual Report & Strategic Plan

2022 Annual Report to the Community

Emerging Stronger Together

Table of Contents

Donors Recognition


Leadership Report

A Message of Resilience and Hope

As the clock struck midnight on March 25, 2022, masks became optional for our state. It was a powerful moment - the end of a grueling two-year battle against a relentless pandemic that tested our resolve and determination.

The difficult times tested our YMCA’s resilience, and we emerged stronger than ever.

Like mastering the art of swimming, we faced moments of struggle. But our decades of experience and commitment to helping our community, prepared us to navigate these turbulent waters. And thanks to the steadfast support of our generous donors and partners, we not only stayed afloat but accomplished more than we ever imagined.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities
When the pandemic closed many preschools, leaving families without options, we revived our Leeward Y Preschool and opened the YMCA Pali Nu‘uanu Preschool at the Nu‘uanu Congregational Church. We plan to open more preschools to support working families and unlock brighter futures for our children.

Our youth suffered mental health challenges that grew more pronounced during the pandemic. Partnering with Mental Health America of Hawai‘i, we developed and delivered programming to support the mental well-being of our youth. Because of the success of our pilot program at Camp Erdman, it was expanded and included in our fall intersession programs.

The results have been remarkable. Youth report increased awareness of their mental health condition, new socialization and coping skills, and greater recognition of the importance of seeking help if bullied or in need of support. We will strive to include additional mental wellness programs for youth as we can make a difference.

We also addressed the needs of our kūpuna, who faced isolation, difficulty accessing food, and other health needs. In partnership with the City and County of Honolulu, we launched our Kūpuna Food & Fun program at Y facilities. Three times a week, hundreds of kūpuna enjoy free nutritious meals and engage in enrichment activities that foster connections, enhance their physical and mental well-being, and help them build a community of friends.

We Can and Will Do More
While our Annual Report highlights other empowering initiatives and programs launched in 2022, our work is far from over.

Many challenges lie ahead, and with that, opportunities for all of us to join together and continue to transform lives and build even stronger communities. Mahalo for believing in our mission and your continued support.


Greg Waibel
President & CEO


Andrew Rosen
Chair, Board of Directors

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Helping kids reach their greatest potential

We know the future of our community depends on the success of children. Unfortunately, not all children have what they need to thrive. 

In this post-pandemic world, young people need our support now more than ever to achieve their personal best academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.

Early Childhood Education: Our Littlest Learners



Children age 18 months to 5 years experience the joy of learning at our Preschools and Early Learning Programs as they prepare for kindergarten.

However, with the closure of preschools during the pandemic, many toddlers fell behind, such as Rea.

Although Rea was three years old, speaking was a struggle. Lacking access to a preschool during the pandemic increased her challenges. But when our Y re-opened and expanded our preschool capacity, Rea’s mom Nikki was relieved to secure a spot for Rea and much-needed financial aid.

Caring for her mother, who was on dialysis, prevented Nikki from working and greatly restricted her income. With the Y’s financial aid, Nikki was able to enroll Rea in preschool, improving her learning and development.

Through the Y’s early learning program, Rea’s pronunciation improved dramatically. “Previously, her vocabulary was less than 50 words,” said Nikki. “Now she can have a whole conversation.”

In addition, interacting with other children has taught Rea patience and kindness that Nikki appreciates because “I really want her to learn how to be a good person.”

Our Y not only re-opened our preschool and early learning centers but added a new YMCA Pali Nu‘uanu Preschool, at the Nu‘uanu Congregational Church. We will continue to expand and add additional sites to meet our community’s needs.

Building Resilience in Our Youth



When the pandemic forced school closures, YMCA facilities provided secure remote learning environments for children that included academic and social support.

However, for many children whose distance learning took place at home, research indicates that school absence and diminished social interaction have hurt students. Statistics show Hawai‘i students lagging behind pre-pandemic reading, math, and science proficiency levels and experiencing increased anxiety and depression.

In collaboration with Mental Health America of Hawai‘i, we developed and piloted a social, emotional, and mental wellness program at our Camp Erdman Summer Camp that we later expanded to our fall day camps. Student surveys confirmed the positive impact of our efforts:

  • 85% became more aware of their mental health,

  • 94% learned the importance of core values, better communication and socialization skills, and how to handle bullying situations,

  • 72% developed new coping strategies, and

  • 87% expanded their support systems and networks.

With these results, we continue to incorporate mental wellness and resilience-building activities into additional programs to help young people better cope with challenges today and tomorrow.

Young Adults: Preparing for a Better Future


For 10 years, the YMCA College Camp has helped hundreds of underserved high school students graduate, pursue higher education, and realize their life-changing potential. Of those, up to 80% pursued or are pursuing higher education, with many being the first in their families to graduate with a college degree.

This summer, we welcomed 30 students and mentors to our first post-pandemic YMCA College Camp.

Staying at UH college dorms, students enjoyed community service projects, college campus tours, and workshops on financial aid, applying for college, and career exploration. College student mentors provide practical skills and inspiration for high school students in this free week-long program at the Atherton Y.

See our College Camp 2022 in action.

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Healthy People = Thriving Communities

We help families and people of all ages build and maintain healthy habits for their spirit, mind, and body, and with that, we build stronger communities.

Keeping Teens Summer Safe


The David C. Ai Charitable Trust, in 2022, gave 450 teens a free summer membership at our Y through the ʻŌpio program that included special enrichment activities and social events, community service, and career and leadership development opportunities.

Statistics indicate risky behaviors like violence, drinking, and drug use increase during the summer when young people’s time is less structured. At our Ys, teens found safe places that were engaging, supportive, and fun!

Of the teens surveyed, 98% found our Ys to be welcoming places; 88% became more physically active; 86% gained new knowledge, skills, and abilities; and 88% said their Y teen membership helped them stay away from drugs and alcohol and other unhealthy behaviors.

Y Wellness Rallies


Our Nu‘uanu Y and Leeward Y partnered with Times Pharmacies, First Vitals, NIU Health, and One Community Hawai‘i to offer free wellness fairs throughout the year that included COVID-19 vaccines, boosters and antibody tests, flu shots, biometric testing, and even dental screening.

YMCA STRONG Community Challenges


Thousands used our free STRONG Challenges offered throughout the year to build healthy lifestyle skills.

The program included motivational tips and tools, access to our virtual YMCA360 platform with 1,500+ livestream and on-demand classes and activities, and community support.

Healthy Kids Day & Camp Erdman Community Day


Our first post-pandemic free family events helped thousands of kids and families have a healthier summer. At our 30th Annual Healthy Kids Day, families learned about Y programs and financial aid to keep everyone healthy and thriving.

Camp Erdman Community Day gave kids and families a chance to experience the fun and benefits of our great outdoors.

See all the action at Camp Erdman Community Day.

Kūpuna: Feeling Valued and Connected



Kūpuna Food & Fun participants surprised Ms. Jean with an Irish bagpipe band, cakes, and lots of well wishes in honor of her 100th birthday!

As one of the largest providers of kūpuna-focused programs, our “Kūpuna Food and Fun” program, in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu, has helped many kūpuna return to the community after isolating during the pandemic.

Today, hundreds of kūpuna are improving their physical and mental wellness through our Kūpuna Food and Fun program, which provides free nutritious meals, as well as enrichment and socialization activities three times a week at our Kaimuki-Wai‘alae, Kalihi, Leeward, Nu‘uanu and Mililani Ys.

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Ensuring Access for All

For our communities to succeed, everyone must be given the opportunity to be healthy, confident, connected, and secure. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we can ensure everyone has a chance to succeed and belong.

Windward Houseless Care Events


Each month, our Windward Y joins other community volunteers and social services to provide free showers, toiletries, clothes, hot meals, and health and social resource connections for houseless community members.

Connecting Kūpuna and Teens



At our Wai‘anae Coast YMCA, the new Kosasa Family Youth Program Building provides a safe space for our work with young people on the Wai‘anae Coast. For years, we have run substance abuse treatment programs in Wai‘anae and Nanakuli high schools and after-school and school break programs for teens. Our Wai‘anae Coast YMCA continues to be a place for teens to come after school and on weekends.

In 2022, we added an intergenerational program that brought together alternative school students and community kūpuna to build a healing garden. Kūpuna also teach our teens how to prepare culturally-based dishes, lei making, and weaving with native Hawaiian plants.

Youth Changemakers Support Ukraine


Fourth and fifth-grade students from our Y’s A+ Afterschool program at Wilson Elementary School participated in our Changemakers program that teaches youth how to identify and take action on community needs. Planning and hosting a family fundraising fair at our Kaimuki-Wai‘alae YMCA, students raised over $7,000 for Ukrainian children and families impacted by the war.

What a great way for children to learn they can make a difference while helping other children and families thousands of miles away! View KITV’s news coverage.

Inviting Visitors to Better Appreciate our Culture and Natural Resources


To enhance island visitors’ knowledge and appreciation of Hawaiian culture and the preservation of our natural resources, we launched a Camp Erdman regenerative tourism program in 2022. Partnering with a tour operator, we welcomed nearly 1,000 visitors to Camp Erdman and Ka‘ena Point over the next twelve months. The program provides hands-on environmental stewardship and Hawaiian cultural experiences, including out-planting of native Hawaiian vegetation, lei-making, hula, arts, our high rope challenges, and hiking.

Ulupō Heiau and Lo‘i Community Volunteer Days



Since 2017, our Windward Y, under the leadership of Kauluakalana, has brought together families and volunteers of all ages to learn of the historical and spiritual significance of Ulupō heiau, gain a sense of place and belonging, and work to preserve and restore the land.

This year, quarterly TogetherhoodTM Community Volunteer Days resumed in partnership with Kauluakalana. Together, we invited the community to help restore and maintain historic Ulupō heiau and lo‘i fields located adjacent to our Windward Y. A sacred place for the Hawaiian people, Ulupō heiau overlooks Kawainui, which was Hawai‘i’s second largest fishpond and is now the largest remaining wetland in Hawai'i. This site is also utilized as an outdoor learning classroom for youth and teens throughout the community.

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