The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawai'i (RPCVHI) group was informally organized in the late 1980s. On Aug. 7, 1991, the first RPCV of Hawai'i association was created. We became a Hawai'i registered non-profit organization in 2004. In 2009 we received federal acknowledgement, and are now recognized as a 501(c)3 organization. We are currently a member organization of the National Peace Corps Association. We collaborate with the Peace Corps recruiter at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa to inform those interested in Peace Corps service.
We actively try to connect with RPCVs living in Hawai'i through our webpage, our ongoing activities and many opportunities to engage in projects that align with Peace Corps' Third Goal - to bring the world home. In light of Peace Corps' values, we support the Department of Land and Natural Resources efforts to clean the Kawainui Marsh on O'ahu's Windward side with monthly volunteer time; we support the statewide outreach of Hawai'i Public Radio by answering phones during the semi-annual pledge drives; and we join other organizations for beach clean-ups, fundraising walks, and food drives.
RPCVHI members support currently serving PCVs from the State of Hawai'i by offering Aloha Care Packages and/or Aloha Grant opportunities. In the past eighteen months, Aloha Grants have been awarded to PCVs and PC Response volunteers in Mongolia, Santa Lucia, Guyana and Madagascar. Aloha Care Packages have been sent to PCVs serving in Cambodia, Jamaica and Ukraine.
We connect and reconnect with RPCVs on O'ahu at monthly "Pau Hana" gatherings at local watering holes, host the Annual BBQ Picnic at Magic Island, and have an annual Oktoberfest fundraiser.
Currently, our membership directory maintains more than 250 RPCV contacts across the islands. Since 1961 more than 1,400 Hawaii state residents have served in the Peace Corps. Currently in 2019, there are at least 6 Hawai'i residents serving in countries worldwide.
Our past successes include the 2011 photo exhibits at Hamilton Library of the University of Hawai'i, and the second exhibit at Honolulu Hale in collaboration with the Consulate of Korea to celebrate Peace Corps' 50th Anniversary. We supported the Big Island reunion of staff and volunteers who trained at the University of Hawai'i Peace Corps Hilo Training Center between 1962 and 1971, and the refurbishment of the John F. Kennedy Memorial plaque now located at the UH-Hilo campus. From 2003 until 2011, we supported the production of "Bring the World Home," a local 30-minute series of television interviews with more than 80 RPCVs of their service abroad, created at 'Olelo Community Access TV on O'ahu, as well as supporting the Honolulu AIDS Walk and the Hawai`i Food Bank.
Our group has received several prestigious national and local awards including the 2004 The Loret Miller Ruppe Award for Outstanding Community Service awarded by the The National Peace Corps Association for the production of "Bring the World Home" (BTWH). BTWH has also won the 'Olelo 7th and 9th Video Recognition Awards for Excellence in a Cultural/Ethnic Program in 2008 and 2010, respectively. In 2004, we hosted speaking engagements with Kevin Quigley, President of the National Peace Corps Association of Returned Volunteers, and in 2004 Gaddi H. Vasquez, National Peace Corps Director.
We take this opportunity to invite you to become a member of RPCVHI and support our local work as well as that of Hawai'i volunteers currently serving. As a member of RPCVHI, you join our Hawai'i network, and receive messages announcing special events and upcoming community volunteer and social activities throughout the year.
Presidents of RPCVHI:
2016 - Present, Caroline L. Mackenzie
Ukraine, 2010 - 20122011 - 2016 Rosemary Casey
Northern Mariana Islands, 1969-712008-11, Kimberly Biggs