Volunteer Spotlight: Maureen King

With its Capital Development Campaign underway, Hoʻōla Nā Pua is now in a critical place of securing the funding to turn long-held dreams into a solid, functioning home.

Crucial to this goal is the acquisition of support from major philanthropic sources, also known as grant writing. Before the first keystroke makes its way onto the screen, however, grant team member Maureen King has already researched, vetted, and charted possible sources of funding.

On a weekly basis, Maureen searches for grants, targeting foundations that benefit victims of trafficking, as well as organizations with broader goals that address homelessness, children’s welfare, abuse, and domestic violence. In addition, she organizes due dates and the dollar amounts granted in an extensive chart, assigning those of highest priority to an available grant writer.

maureenNevertheless, Maureen is quick to credit the other members of Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s core team for their help in the thorough organizational system she has established. When she began volunteering for Hoʻōla Nā Pua in 2012, her previous experience in the anti-trafficking movement had taken place with Teen Challenge in Montana. Upon moving here, she discovered Hoʻōla Nā Pua and took on a new challenge—one involving the foreign world of computers, spreadsheets, and grants. With the help of funding and development director, Kirsten Baumgart Turner, Maureen soon became fluent in the language of Microsoft Excel and other computer-based technologies.

Since then, Maureen says, “I found out that I can do things I didn’t think I could do at this age—monitoring grants. I just didn’t think I was capable of that. It’s amazing to me that I’m even doing what I’m doing.”

Still, Maureen says that her duties keep her on her toes, and in order to best serve the girls that Hoʻōla Nā Pua seeks to reach, she continually educates herself on issues within trafficking. “It’s been astronomical, what I’ve learned,” she observes, “It’s such a big criminal industry. I’ve learned horrific details, but I’ve also learned that there are good foundations out there that want to help us. That drives me on.” Likewise, she urges new volunteers to educate themselves as much as possible on the topic. She recommends books by survivors, such as Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time by Carissa Phelps, Walking Prey by Holly Austin Smith, or Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd.

Despite the heavy realities that she encounters, Maureen finds inspiration in the other members of the team, who work tirelessly towards Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s mission. In the midst of the perpetual task of securing funding, she too remains committed to her task, saying, “Every day I get up is a chance to make a difference in a girl’s life.”

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