Volunteer Spotlight: Shane Makanui-Lopes

For Shane Makanui-Lopes, successful volunteering requires treating the responsibility like another part of his job.

When it comes to making volunteer commitments, one of the significant deterring factors for potential volunteers is simply, time. Oftentimes, their involvement must squeeze into the space left over by work, family, and friends. For Shane Makanui-Lopes, successful volunteering requires treating the responsibility like another part of his job. Although he cites time management as one of the harder parts of his experience, he says, “Volunteering was easier when I treated it as part of my schedule. At the end of the day, you know you gave what you could and didn’t slack just because it was volunteer work.”

On top of his regular job in marketing, Shane’s duties at Hoʻōla Nā Pua include editing the organization’s written communication and helping to update the website. Additionally, he served on the recent golf tournament committee and was heavily involved in the Not on Our Islands film shown at last month’s Sex Trafficking Awareness Walk.

shane blog pic

Hoʻōla Nā Pua “Not On Our Islands” campaign photo shoot.

In order to film this video, Jessica Munoz took Shane and a group of volunteers to the site of Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s future home. Shane says, “One of my most memorable volunteer experiences was seeing the site. When I’m volunteering, it’s normally just paperwork, but while we were standing on the site and hearing Jessica talk about what needs to be done, it all came together—the realization that this project will actually happen.” As the volunteers walked through the vandalized structure, however, they observed the damage that the building has endured within one and a half years of being vacated. Shane remarks, “Something that struck me was that it was really just us. Just a group of volunteers. If we don’t do anything, nothing will get done.”

Nevertheless, within the community of his fellow volunteers, Shane finds the energy needed to contribute to Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s forward momentum. He says, “Since I’ve started volunteering, I realize that I can be more motivated in this kind of altruistic atmosphere; I can glean just as much motivation from doing this as from getting paid.” As is the case with many volunteers, the abolition of sex trafficking resonates deeply with him, evoking the commitment that he displays toward his work with Hoʻōla Nā Pua. Introduced to the issue of sex trafficking through the work of a good friend, he discovered that Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s mission addressed two of the heaviest burdens on his heart, saying, “I’m hit hard when children are victims of anything. A big concern of mine is gender and sexuality issues, and sex trafficking is the worst of those two worlds combined.”

Since joining Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s team in October, Shane has invested his time and effort heavily into these issues. Through talent, passion, and—as he is quick to point out—time management, he has become both an integral part of the organization and a community advocate for victims of sex trafficking.



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