Giving Back
P.O. Box 791339
Paia, HI 96779
Phone: 808-573-3109

The Lei Ceremony

From the Maui News
Farm's anniversary offer sees giving go full circle and then some
KULA – The nonprofit Giving Back program has earned 250 lei because Paradise Flower Farms Inc. wants to celebrate its 25th anniversary by giving back to the community.

Earlier this year, the company invited nonprofit agencies on Maui to write an essay answering the question, "What would your organization do with 250 lei?" Among the possibilities it suggested were honoring unsung heroes or raising funds.

The company received 30 entries.

Giving Back is a nonprofit agency whose program, Kupuna & Keiki Together, trains Maui senior citizens and pairs them with schoolchildren in mentoring relationships. Through this intergenerational program, seniors share skills, experience, knowledge and love with the youngsters.

Giving Back will use the lei in a "Double Honoring Ceremony" at each school it services at the end of the program year.

In this ceremony, the children will form one circle and the seniors will form another ring around the children. Each senior will read a poem or short note of love and remembrance, and present a child with a lei. Then, each child will read a note or present a drawing, and give the senior mentor a lei.

This exchange of good feelings, love and respect will continue around the circle until all seniors and children have been honored.

"Our staff voted for this project from the point of view that it embodies everything that we in Hawaii hold dear about the giving of lei," said Paradise Flower Farms co-owner Teena Rasmussen. "It is truly a symbol of love, admiration, respect and friendship."

Giving Back Executive Director Karen Peterson said, "We are thrilled to win this contest, and want to thank Paradise Flower Farms Inc. for seeing the importance of our program. Our seniors and children will be delighted."
From the Maui News                                                                                                        
Flower farm, other help seniors and pupils celebrate 'Giving Back'
Friday 17 June 2005

About 200 children and senior citizens at Kamali'i and Pukalani elementary schools honored one another in Double Honoring Lei Ceremonies last month, organized by the nonprofit Giving Back.
In the ceremony, the children formed a circle with the seniors forming a ring around the children.  Each senior presented each child with a special card and a lei and said, "I honor you."  Then each child presented each senior citizen with a card and a lei and said, "I honor you."
Paradise Flower Farms gave life to the ceremony by providing 250 lei as part of its 25th anniversary effort to give back to the community.  Giving Back won the essay contest, in which 30 nonprofits entered, answering the question" "what would your organization do with 250 lei?"
Karen Petersobnm executive director of Giving Back, answered by outlining the Double Honoring Lei Ceremony, which ended up simming the essay contest and 250 lei.
Giving Back's Brain Gym Intergenerational Mentoring Program (also called Kupuna and Keiki Together) trains senior citizens and pairs them with schoolchildren in mentoring relationships. through this program the seniors share skills, experience, knowledge, and love with the youngsters.
In the winning esssay, Giving Back also said the ceremony would be a fundraising project with businesses and groups "sponsoring" lei.  The donors included Pukalani Superette, Mayor Alan Arakawa Kokua Fund, Mana Foods, Anthony's Coffee Co., Postal Plus-Kihei, Aloha Serenity, Jam Shishido, and Hermine Harman.
About $1,000 was raised for the program, saaid Karen Peterson, executive director of Giving Back.