Aloha, Hawaii!

This Tuesday, January 10, I leave for Hawaii with Jennifer, Adrien, and Tracy from MasterChef to help with some benefits for a couple of VERY worthy charities on Oahu.

YO! House is an organization that helps support homeless youth on Oahu.  It’s actually illegal to be homeless in Hawaii if you’re under the age of 18.  It sounds crazy, I know, but it has to do with their truancy laws.  So if your parents throw you out on the street, and the police find you, you go to jail.  Great way to help a troubled youth toward a better future, huh?  So YO! House provides services that help homeless youth find shelter, work, stay in school, and eventually find a permanent place to live.  It’s a VERY worthy cause.

We will also be helping out Family Promise, an organization that supports homeless families with children on Oahu.  You might think that if you had to be homeless anywhere in the U.S., Hawaii is the place to be, right?  Unfortunately, there is a dark side of life in Hawaii that tourists rarely see…there is a lot of drug and gang related violence there, not to mention the challenges that ANY homeless family faces when they are trying to raise children on the streets.  Family Promise helps mentor these homeless families toward a position of sustainable independence.

You all know exactly how I feel about Hawaii.  It has been calling me like a siren song for several years, so I cannot be more excited about getting meshed in with wonderful organizations down there that are doing SO much good for those who need it most.  I’m also excited to show my dear friends Jennifer, Adrien, and Tracy around that tropical paradise!  While the Big Island is where I want to call home, I know Oahu very well and we have some amazing hosts awaiting our arrival!

This is not an official MasterChef function.  Our two hostesses were just Twitter fans in the beginning, and they really clicked with the 4 of us, and eventually decided they could talk to the right people in their town and organize this trip so that we could come and help promote these charities.  If you have a favorite charity that you support in your hometown, and you think any of the MasterChef contestants could help out, PLEASE contact any of us through Facebook or Twitter or through our personal websites.  None of us could remotely be considered celebrities, but we are all eager to use what meager prominence we have achieved to help out those in need.

If the services of YO! House or Family Promise pique your interest, visit their websites and see how you can help!  And you can bet that all 4 of us will be Tweeting and Facebooking and Blogging about the events so you can all keep up with us!  Aloha and Mahalo!

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