Summer CSGC Grant Update: Making Meaningful Connections with Nonprofits

During the summer I worked with three nonprofit organizations to create a fundraiser to both raise funds for the organizations and advocate for the specific issues they are each trying to solve. It was a very difficult, but incredible experience that ranged from contacting nonprofits to creating a website and selling custom-made bracelets. Throughout the process, there were many setbacks and problems that created unexpected situations. However, I embraced every opportunity as a chance to learn and hone real-life skills.

The three organizations I worked and continue to work with are Mālama Maunalua, OpenHands, and Valor Global Foundation. Mālama Maunalua is an environmental organization based in my hometown, Hawaii, that focuses on the protection of Maunalua Bay, mainly from the influx of invasive algae. OpenHands is an organization based in Korea that has long worked in the Philippines to provide water filtration kits to local families. And, Valor Global Foundation is also an organization based in Korea that aims to help fund children’s education in impoverished regions around the world.

Although the range of the grant project only includes the summer, the preparation for this project started in February in the form of contacting organizations. I initially had trouble finding interested organizations, with virtually all my emails being ignored. Finally, through one of the Korean teachers that I met during the summer of my middle school years, I was able to get in contact with Valor Global Foundation. Luckily, they also connected me to OpenHands, who were also interested in participating. Even before starting the project, I learned how difficult it is to have complete strangers listen to my idea, let alone be interested in it.

Unfortunately, with some bracelets having to be reordered because of design issues, the campaign wasn’t available longer than I expected. Now, with the website live and my bracelets ready for sale, I look forward to being at the forefront of advocacy for these issues. Valor Global Foundation has given me a chance to present to teachers at their staff orientation meeting to discuss the various issues and market the bracelets. In the coming months, I will also have Zoom calls with some students from Valor International School to teach them about environmental and humanitarian issues tackled by Mālama Maunalua and OpenHands. For OpenHands, I will be attending online workshops hosted by them in which I will have an opportunity to share the campaign with the attendees as well. I am currently in talks with Mālama Maunalua on ways people in Hawaii can learn about these crises.

I want to again thank the CSGC and the Workman family for helping me realize this campaign and supporting these organizations’ work in solving problems around the world.

The link to my website:

-Yongjin Park ’22