Supporter Spotlight: Laurie Kasten

When North Shore resident and professional photographer Laurie Kasten initially heard about Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s $1000 from 1000 campaign, she was eager to contribute.

As is the case with many, however, $1000 a year seemed a bit steep for one individual. Nevertheless, galvanized by her commitment to Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s vision, she came up with a creative solution to her dilemma by utilizing part of the profits from her own small business, Sun Rider Images.

Laurie’s connection to Hoʻōla Nā Pua has grown from a friendship with Jeremy and Jessica Munoz, who both attend Laurie’s church on the North Shore. When Jessica asked the church to support Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s presence in the community by attending city council meetings, Laurie remembers telling her husband that showing up was least they could do. Yet, as she and her husband continued to support the organization, she found herself drawn towards its vision. After attending a volunteer orientation, she began brainstorming ways to contribute to the $1000 from 1000 campaign.

As a photographer, Laurie uses her skill with the camera to capture real estate advertising photos, individual and family portraits, and weddings. Her natural eye for beauty also facilitates another aspect of her business—creating photo cards. Although the cards had already been an established aspect of her photography business, Laurie decided to expand her product to new markets in order to raise funds for Hoʻōla Nā Pua. Promoting her cards through Business Network International, as well as through social media avenues, she found herself gaining new platforms for her product.

Laurie remembers one of the highlights of this experience was when another small business owner decided to purchase 100 of her cards to use as thank you notes for clients. The individual was not only thrilled to support Hoʻōla Nā Pua, but was also inspired to boost her own business through the transaction.

Although no one else purchased quite that many cards at one time, Laurie emphatically believes that every little bit helps, saying, “Sometimes you hear of organizations that just ask for donations of $5 or $10, but if everyone donated, it would add up. One thousand people donating $10 each adds up, and with that donation, we have 1000 people who are aware and educated about the problem.”

Just as she formerly believed sex trafficking was an international—but not local—problem, Laurie finds that many of her customers are shocked to discover its prevalence within the islands. Through creative fundraisers like her own,
however, Laurie and other supporters of Hoʻōla Nā Pua look forward to the day when girls who have been exploited can find the healing and support they need.Sunrider_Images

You can support Hoʻōla Nā Pua and Laurie Kasten by purchasing her cards. Sun Rider Images cards can be purchased directly by emailing [email protected] or by calling (808) 222-0775. Additionally, her cards are available at these locations on the North Shore:

Waimea Valley Gift Shop

Waialua Fresh

Route 99 North Shore Embroidery

Kai Ku Hale

Simply Honeybee Art

Mila’s Bikini Shop

You can also visit her website and support her on Facebook

Written by Elisabeth Kurashige | Volunteer

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