View Full Version : A Pono Charity Project- Donations for Children

09-01-2012, 07:52 PM
A few years ago my dad (owner of Ko'olau/Pono) donated 30 some Pono's to a local elementary school. We popped in a few months back and found out that they weren't even taken out of their cases! Just boxed up in a closet. Our public school's respect and attention for the arts is practically offensive, but that's a whole other story.

Anyway, my dad and I got to discussing the best way to give back to the uke community and benefit the next generation of ukulele inspirators. There are kids that could truly benefit from a professional instrument and we would love to aid in their growth, and you can help!

So here's the plan, this is an ukulele community effort and we need your help. If you know someone under the age of 18 with musical potential, with interest in the ukulele, but lacking the funds for a good one, write us an email or letter and we will review them monthly as we can. View the details of this program here at our website- ukulele-donation-for-children (http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukulele-donation-for-children)
Thanks for helping us make the most of what we have to offer. It's personally rewarding for us and by getting involved you can make a big difference in a child's life, just by spending a little time to tell us about them. Mahalo for your time and effort.

09-01-2012, 07:58 PM
Thank you for supporting schools and our youth so generously.

09-01-2012, 08:12 PM
I am so glad that this one callous, regrettable experience hasn't kept you from continuing to look for a way to bright the lives of children by making music accessible to them. I love my Pono in every way but I have a newfound respect for the company's owners.

Good luck to you,

09-01-2012, 08:18 PM
Very sad story. I am very grateful there are people out there like you and your father. It is an amazing gift the way you get to feel inside by helping others. I have a great respect for your kindness,generosity,and aloha spirit.

09-01-2012, 08:18 PM
Can we nominate multiple students at once? I will send an email.

09-01-2012, 08:29 PM
Andrew, the more I learn about you and your family, the more impressed I am with your family's, and the Ko'olau/Pono, Aloha spirit! Now I love my Pono mahogany baritone and my Pono 6-string tenor even more! (And I want to buy a Ko'olau!) Is there any way to rescue those 30 some Ponos from that closet to which they were exiled?

09-01-2012, 08:50 PM
Wow, hat's off to you and your ohana, Andrew. I'm glad this incident did not phase you away from continuing to help impoverished children and now extending this worldwide. One of my best friends lives in the Turks & Caicos islands and once a year, his Rotary Club goes out to local the schools (a lot of poorer Haitian refugees) and give the grade 3 students dictionaries. Just to see the kids' faces light up melts the heart. You can't but well up with emotion. I can only imagine what a ukulele would do for a kid! Again, hat's off to you.

09-01-2012, 10:00 PM
The administration of the public school to whom your father donated those ukuleles should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. They accepted the gift; if they have no program, or no intentions of using the instruments, they simply should have declined the generosity and insisted that your father gift them to a school who needs them.

That off my chest, your current charitable notion is thoughtful and caring. Know who comes to mind? Victor Gim...you likely saw the recent thread...the teen that passed away from brain cancer. Not that everyone who gets a gift of a ukulele be terminal, but the impression left by Victor with that ukulele, playing with Aldrine (who unselfishly went to visit him--gosh, makes one want to cry) is downright inspirational. It puts it all--and it is the big "it" of Life -- in perspective. I think Victor came to Hawaii to play with Chris Salvador and Aldrine and Kalei, so you might have been involved, Andrew. If a kid with a ukulele can inspire us like Victor did in his short time with the instrument, the sky is, indeed, the limit.

You are kind to even think of such a program, Andrew. Your instincts as a musician and a father come through in this idea.

If you ever do find an entire underprivileged school or classroom, a group you feel worthy of instruments, I'm sure every one of us regulars on UU has "slightly used" ukuleles to mail to HMS so that you can give them to the kids. Nothing would bring more joy than to see a video of the ukuleles, now collecting dust in our closets, in the hands of smiling children, and Aaron giving them all a group lesson in the classroom.

09-02-2012, 02:01 AM
That's very generous of you and yet another reason I will continue to buy from HMS

09-02-2012, 03:45 AM
What a great heart your family have...so many people talk of doing things, but then never quite get around to it. Thank you for your effort, spirit and generosity, for spreading love and making the world a better place to be in.

mm stan
09-02-2012, 04:02 AM
Andrew you and your Dad have very kind and generous hearts....I am saddend that the school has not made use of the ukes and you would feel bad to ask to have them back....
I hope your next charity endeavor you will pick and select a school that really has a uke program and needs the ukes....I will be making a donation for the kids for uke program and
a builder is building me a uke and wants me to donate to them.....hopefully I will get my uke in november at UGH show....I guess it a perfect way to go and the builder, kids and me benefit..
Thank you for mentioning the Kids for Uke program...it really needs to be advertised more...would you be open to giving away a uke for the highest donater...

09-02-2012, 04:57 PM
This is an awesome idea and a fantastically generous gesture by the Kitakis family and Ko'olau/Pono. As an orchestra director in a school district that serves students from many different socioeconomic statuses and family backgrounds, I know first hand the power that music can have in a child's life, no matter where they come from. I also have seen the challenges that not having a quality instrument can cause students that have the drive and talent of anyone else, but not the resources.

This is exactly the kind of generosity and aloha spirit that I have come to expect from Andrew and his family, through my experiences with HMS, Andrew's personal and through care for customers, and now this.