Extending the reach of Goodwill and ʻOhana Readers

Posted on Aug 25, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

Once a teacher, always a teacher — even if you’re also the wife of the governor.  As a former educator, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige has supported groups that help people transform their lives. Her work with Goodwill Hawaii is one example. She said what has impressed her most about the organization is its ability to diversify. “Some think of Goodwill as stores where you can find a bargain, but it’s so much more,” Mrs. Ige said. “The organization offers job training and placement, GED classes and even an alternative school in Kapolei for our young people and is able to constantly evolve to fulfill the needs of the community. It’s a tribute to the strong leadership of their staff and their board members.”

Fashion designer Micah Kamohoaliʻi at “Goodwill Goes Glam” with the Iges.

Goodwill’s CEO Katy Chen said the First Lady has definitely helped to raise the profile of the organization. “Mrs. Ige has shown the highest level of support over the past eight years. She believes in our mission and the work we do,” Chen said. Goodwill is expanding to the neighbor islands with new programs for dislocated workers. It’s also opening a new store in Kāneʻohe and partnering with other nonprofits for donation centers. Watch for the “Goodwill Goes GLAM” special Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. on KFVE.

One of the many beautiful creations from “The Art of the Holoku” show, upcycled from Goodwill by kumu Micah. Photo by Mark Ramelb

Mrs. Ige also is still hard at work on her ‘Ohana Readers project, which has so far distributed more than 10,400 free books to keiki on Moloka‘i, Lānaʻi and Kaua‘i through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Plans are under way to expand ‘Ohana Readers to Ka‘u on Hawai‘i island. In addition, some 2,000 books were distributed to Hawai‘i keiki through the Scholastic Summer Reading program when first ladies across the nation, including Mrs. Ige, were named ambassadors.

Read more in the September Capitol Connection newsletter.

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