Sometimes, having a family member with an intellectual disability can be very isolating. But it doesn’t have to be. Special Olympics Hawaii can help by providing families opportunities to meet other families, share experiences and learn from one another. At Special Olympics Hawaii you will find hope, celebration, pride, acceptance and support. And most of all, you’ll find friendships that will last a lifetime. 

In 2000, Special Olympics Hawaii developed the ‘Ohana Task Force to help provide activities for family members throughout the state of Hawaii. State activities are developed during the state Summer Games and the state Holiday Classic. Each Area program has an ‘Ohana Task Force representative that develops family activities within their own area.

“I have new heroes and they are the parents of persons with intellectual disabilities. They demanded that their children be treated like other children. They said, my children are of value. In 10 to 15 years, we are going to have millions of athletes involved in Special Olympics around the world and the parents are going to say to everyone, ‘We won.'” 
– Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Founder of Special Olympics

Special Olympics is not only for the athlete, it is a family, a community, that welcomes you and your ‘ohana with open arms.

Special Olympics Hawaii parent

‘Ohana Taskforce 

Gwen Kagihara, Chair – bkagihara@hawaii.rr.com
Joanne Nagamine, East Hawaii – nagamine.joanne@yahoo.com 
Larry Yasuda, Kauai – beverlyasuda@yahoo.com
Debbie Kobayakawa, Windward – alohadebbk@yahoo.com
Christine Gamaio, Maui – Ckekipi-gamiao@live.com 
Vacant, Leeward 
Melissa Malmgren, Molokai – melissa.malmgren@yahoo.com 
Nani Lehano, West Hawaii – nanilehano@gmail.com 
Kimo & Kelly Anderson, Central/Honolulu – 808andersons@gmail.com

How ‘Ohana Can Help

Family members can be involved in helping Special Olympics programs in their community in many different ways by volunteering to:

  • Provide transportation for athletes to practices and competitions
  • Make phone calls to other family members
  • Become a chaperone for your team
  • Help raise funds to support your Special Olympics area program
  • Serve on an area committee and help develop your area program by recruiting athletes and volunteers
  • Serve on the Area Families committee
  • Become a Unified® Partner
  • Volunteer to help at competitions
  • Coach your child’s team in a sport you have experience in
  • If in a remote area, home train your child so they can compete in area and state competitions
  • Organize social gatherings for all athletes on your child’s team
  • Support the program through in-kind products or services, or by cash donations
  • Attend competitions as a spectator