The Hawaii Jewelers Association(HJA) has partnered with Make-A-Wish Hawaii after selecting the local nonprofit as their charity of choice, involving the association’s statewide members with the Make-A-Wish mission.
The HJA, under the new leadership of co-executive directors Sophia Makaimoku-Young and Bernard Nunies, is an affiliate of Jewelers for Children, an international organization dedicated to uniting charitable giving efforts of the jewelry industry to children in need. Make-A-Wish has benefitted from this organization on a national and international level, but now the effort has moved in locally to further support wish kids in Hawaii.
“We are excited to renew our relationship with Make-A-Wish Hawaii in support of our industry-focused charity, Jewelers for Children. Aside from financial contributions, it is our goal to have a more active role in our community through unique efforts in supporting local Wish children,” Nunies said.
On Friday, the HJA launched this local partnership by hosting a celebratory send-off for Honolulu Wish Kid Gabrielle, 16, battling cancer. HJA Member Hawaii Estate & Jewelry Buyers presented Gabrielle with a donated pair of platinum earrings featuring .50ct diamonds from The Diamond Guy, sending her off in style before her Saturday departure to England – a long-awaited wish trip after plans to travel sooner were postponed from a collapsed lung requiring surgery.
Gabrielle’s wish to England is being sponsored by Jewelers for Children, which has granted Make-A-Wish Hawaii funding to help cover the costs of the trip. Gabby was born in England, but moved to Hawaii when she was young; her one true wish is to see where she was born. While in London, she is looking forward to sightseeing and touring The London Eye, London Bridge, Tower of London, Big Ben, and the London Dungeons.
“We rely on innovative partnerships to not only raise needed funds for local wishes that we grant like Gabby’s, but also to make each wish - whether for a local child or a visiting child - something truly magical to treasure forever,” said Make-A-Wish Hawaii President and CEO Siana Austin Hunt. “We are so grateful that local jewelers in Hawaii have aligned with us to add this special touch of aloha to our wish experiences.”
In addition to Gabby’s wish, HJA member Opal Fields has offered to host two upcoming in-store jewelry experiences for Kayla and McKenzie, who are coming on their wishes to see Hawaii from Tennessee.
“We look forward to supporting Make-A-Wish Hawaii as our charity of choice along with the thousands of people that are impacted by these wish experiences each year,” Makaimoku-Young added.