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#HUMANSOFWAHIAWA

They’re strangers.
Strangers aren’t supposed to affect your daily life very much.
Strangers don’t have your trust.
They don’t have your time, like the friends that have had years with you.
They don’t possess a place in your memory.

 

But these strangers have a power; these strangers have stories.
 

Their stories bridge the distance between your separate roads
and cause you to share a moment on their path.
Before you know it, you find the people that are the most obscure are suddenly influencing you. With their words and expressions lingering into your mind, you feel your heart inevitably soften, your mindset shift and your perspective grow.

These strangers that I speak of can be found on the highly popular blog ”Humans Of New York’‘.
If you  are one of the few who haven’t heard of it before, Humans Of New York was started by 20-something Brandon Stanton. Having lost his job in bond trading, Brandon hit the streets, to start photographing random people in New York City. Like any good photographer, Brandon interacted with his subjects and started to add the stories and quotes that stood out to him during those conversations.
 
Some photos are published with long captions, others have just one line, and all of them find their way to our hearts. They are now steadily covering instagram, facebook and tumblr feeds.
In a circle of irony, the ‘social’ networks that have been accused of discouraging
real interaction with even those that are closest to us, have come full circle to bring us
close to strangers.
 
A few weeks ago, we sent out Surfing The Nations staff and interns into our town of Wahiawa to get to know the people ‘Humans Of New York’ style, and document them on instagram with the hashtag  #humansofwahiawa.
Most people on the mainland and living elsewhere, imagine Hawaii to be swarming with native people sporting hula skirts and ukukleles, or perhaps they view it as a grown-up Disneyland full of tourists, with dolphins jumping over a volcano sitting under a rainbow.
Hawaii, and specifically Wahiawa, is a very diverse place. The #humansofwahiawa project put on display the different ages, races, hopes and dreams of our town.
There are many things that can be learned from the photos on Humans Of New York or  #humansofwahiawa, but more than anything, we learn that
everyone has a story, and that the most fascinating things we’ll hear
or see are still undiscovered. That is, unless we get out there, have the eyes to see, and open up our lives to strangers, or, rather, stories of our town.
 
Here’s just a few photos from the hashtag. Find more on instagram #humansofwahiawa !

We’re on Pinterest!

After watching countless friends get addicted to the super visual social media outlet, we figured it’s about time we get on board (no pun intended).

Let the fun begin!

http://pinterest.com/stnhawaii/

 

photo: mashable.com

 

GIVE 2012: Be a History Maker

To really bring about radical change, one must have a certain percentage of courage. Most world-changers in history looked like fools in the world’s eyes. Many people can see where there is need for transformation, but not so many are willing to take action to set change in motion.

This year, join us in our GIVE 2012 campaign by being your creative self! Between December 1st and January 31st our goal is to raise $20,012 towards the remodel of a broken down brothel in to a thriving outreach training center, which will house our weekly social programs serving the community of Wahiawa, Hawaii.

Our property storefronts located in Wahiawa are being rented to community minded businesses. We see this as an important step in bringing transformation to an area once ridden by the sex-industry. Our next step is to create a permanent home for our outreaches and operations. This building will be the new home of our Feeding The Hungry program that impacts over 2,000 individuals weekly, Ulu Pono Kids, our after school at-risk youth program and countless other community training programs.

 

We need YOU to reach this goal!

Simply pick something and get people to support you in your fundraising. Here are some ideas:

  • Flash mob!
  • Dress up in costume to; play football,Christmas shop, surf, etc
  • Shave your head/dye your hair/moustache
  • Host a gathering, dinner, party, art show, open mic night, etc.
  • Make a New Year’s resolution that you will ‘donate’.

What do you love? What are you known for? What do you do on a regular basis that can become extraordinary?
Start your campaign and join GIVE 2012.

Then share your photos or videos with us via Instagram at #GIVE2012