Uncle Kokua giving millions to Hawaii residents in need

Published: Apr. 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM HST
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KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - When cash is tight, don't you sometimes wish you could contact a rich uncle? Well, now you can.

A Kailua man who goes by the moniker "Uncle Kokua" is giving his money away to Hawaii residents in need, and you can watch him dole out his millions on a new, local reality TV show on KFVE.

Yes, his story sounds too good to be true. Who just gives away money?

"When you become successful and, let's say, you are lucky enough and do become rich, then, how much is enough? You don't need more and more and more," says Uncle Kokua – who chooses not to use his real name for privacy reasons.

He's reportedly worth $100 million. Last year, the real estate investor starred on the ABC show, Secret Millionaire. He splits his time between San Diego and Hawaii, but it's here where he decided to open up his wallet - wide.

"I've always loved Hawaii. I like the people here. I think there are a lot of good people, kind people. And there are also a lot of people here who I think need a lot of help - who are down on their luck. Part of it is the cost of living. Hawaii is so expensive."

He travels around the island of Oahu in a VW van - visiting folks in need. He decided their personal struggles - and his contributions - would interest people, so he created a reality program. "What I'm doing for the Uncle Kokua TV show is not really something that I concocted just to be on TV. I've been doing this (giving away money), anyway, for 9 to 10 years."

His team screens for scam artists and researches the validity of requests that come in by the thousands. But your appeal has to be unique. In a promotion for his TV show, one woman asks for Uncle Kokua's help, "I'm homeless, and I live on the beach in a van, and I have stage 4 cancer."

"It's some story other than being broke, because almost everybody's broke ... I've given gifts as high as a million dollars. And I've given gifts to people, $500."

In one of the shows, you'll see how Uncle Kokua helps that homeless woman. His eventual goal is to die almost broke - because in the end, he says, you can't take it with you.

Watch the Uncle Kokua show on KFVE – starting Tuesday, April 17th and every Tuesday from 7pm-8pm. You can submit your story of need – in 200 words or less - to Be sure to include your name, phone number, and email.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.