By: Diane Ako
HONOLULU (KHNL) - Red Pineapple in Ward Center is filled with lots of goodies - including many items that have been on Oprah's O list or Instyle magazine.
In looking for goodies, store owner Nalani McLaughlin Holliday ran across an article about Mariska Hargitay and her non-profit Joyful Heart Foundation. "I fell in love with the project," says Holliday.
The Joyful Heart Foundation has a very clear mission: to help survivors of sexual assault heal mind, body and spirit. The Foundation holds retreats on The Big Island that encompass all aspects of healing using art therapy, counselling, and even a swim in the open ocean with dolphins.
What really drew Holliday into the organization was the fact the she lives here! That women were coming here to our island to seek healing. To her that was very powerful. Part of the retreat involves a swim with dolphins in the open ocean. It is an act of letting go, of freedom for survivors who have often lost a great sense of freedom and control in their own lives. It is a chance to really "feel".
When Holliday read the article, "I called her and said I have to get involved with this project, and 3 days later I was talking to the program director Stacey and forming a plan. I really look at my store as a vehicle to educate and raise money, am a firm believer that sexual abuse is not out in the open, that victims are ashamed and that abusers are enabled by family members who do not blow the whistle. I hope that with us being involved we will let girls and women know that there is help out there for them."
Red Pineapple has a line of waterproof totes which have a special design. 100% of the sales of these totes benefit Joyful Heart Foundation. There are cards inside the bags that talk about Joyful Heart Foundation and there are help numbers on the back of the cards as well. "It is a great ice breaker for mother- daughter conversations and I hope the numbers on the back of the cards help women to know there is help out there to heal," enthuses Holliday.
Red Pineapple has already raised $1000. Holliday wrote the check out today. All the money raised here in Red Pineapple will stay here in Hawaii. This money will be used to fund retreats for women here in the islands. "I am so proud to be a part of Joyful Heart as I think the foundation is really going to have a fantastic positive impact on our community," says Holliday. Hargitay's long term goal is to have urban retreats in every city as sexual assault is blind to race, religion and age.
Joyful Heart Foundation