You don't have to be a visionary or spiritualist to know that, like other areas of local life, Hawaii's non-profits are being hit and hit hard by the economic downturn.  A recent survey of some local non-profits shows that almost half have cut back on staffing, over 40% have cut services, and almost three-quarters of those polled plan to make cuts next quarter.  As a community, we all suffer when those in need lose out on services that these agencies and organizations provide.

Grants, donations, and in-kind products have all slowed down throughout the non-profit world in Hawaii.  So what can you do, even if you cannot provide funds?  Perhaps you can donate some time, expertise, or training.  Make a simple phone call to a non-profit and ask what you can do to help out.  Volunteers are always needed for fund-raising events, and educational training is something anyone with expertise can provide at no cost, other than your time and commitment.  And when you do good, you feel good- not a bad thought for these tough times.

If you've got an extra can of food or can get that two-for-one special on rice or some other edible commodity, drop something off at the Hawaii Food Bank.  Got a closet that needs re-visiting or cleaning out?  Someone can certainly use your decent hand-me-downs.  Volunteer to tutor or read to kids.  Take the time to give a little bit; it's needed now perhaps more than ever.  Think about it...