Art of Volunteering is the dba for my volunteer management and consulting services generally serving the island of Maui. Service to the volunteer sector began two years after moving to Maui when invited to join the Maui Film Festival team (in its 2nd year) in 2001.
Serving my community in this way was not a planned initiative, it was simply an invitation to consider. I had moved to Hawai'i with an expressed intention; to heal a body that had taken a toll as a competitive springboard and platform diver through high school, college and two Olympic diving trials ('76 and '80). Shortly after the Olympic boycott of 1980 I became obsessed with the introduction of personal computers. Years of poor computer ergonomics contributed to neuromuscular dysfunction resulting in a healing crisis in 1998. At the time I was working for a dot-com startup in Seattle and training for the World Masters Games diving events in Portland, OR.
A secondary motivation was the recognition that hidden power structures that control the central banks, currencies, trading platforms, economies, multinational corporations, governments, our institutions of "higher learning" and the main stream media were taking America (and the world) in a self-destructive direction. I chose a different direction, a journey into the unknown and a path of self-discovery during my mid-life "chiron return" astrological transit.
The real gift of leaving the cult of American Exceptionalism was the awakening of my indigenous mind, thanks to the generosity and spirit of aloha that permeates the sovereign nation of Hawai'i Nei and it's beautiful and diverse people.
While Art of Volunteering has served many wonderful causes, non-profits and community events over the years, I am currently directing three decades of experience as a communications and media professional toward the local food movement as Hawai'i Communications Director overseeing fourteen chapters of Hawai'i Farmers Union United (HFUU). My responsibilities include administration of our NeonCRM (customer relations management) database, webmaster for HFUUHI.org, newsletter publisher for the 14 chapters, and point of contact for the mostly volunteer organization. I consider this kuleana (responsibility) to be my most important work to date and encourage anyone that supports family farmers, gardeners, foodies and others aligned with the principles of regenerative agriculture to subscribe to HFUU newsletters (create a free account) and become a member (benefits) - wherever you are in the world.
Hawaiians, and indigenous cultures in general, have a lot to teach the western mind about caring for the land (malama 'aina). In particular, building soil through regenerative means and creating localized distribution systems (ahupua'a) that consider the needs of everyone, not just those at the top of an artificially constructed, debt-dependent, economic system that is blindly and irresponsibly monetizing the earth and it's natural resources into unsustainable oblivion.
These are the values and sources of inspiration that have influenced my service oriented lifestyle. Art of Volunteering is about "seeing a need and filling a need" that is aligned with one's established skills and interests, or as a way of testing out untapped skills in a service oriented setting.
I don't know what the future holds for humanity, but I'm humbled and grateful to be on the front lines of a movement toward decentralized power and sovereign authority, and living in intentional community in one of the most beautiful and healthy environments on earth.
To myself, my beloved, my Maui ohana and dna-mates in other lands and realms, I wish us all a new year of personal growth, empowerment, discernment, and deeper alignment with our earthly missions.
Mālama pono, aloha a hui hou,