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NEWS | July 25, 2021

Kokua I Ko Makou Kaiaulu: Helping Our Community

By Justice Vannatta, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & IMF Public Affairs Specialist

If you asked someone to define community, they’d likely give you an answer that involves a physical location. A person’s community is often described as a literal place in the world: a school, a neighborhood, or a town. The Oxford English Dictionary defines community as “a body of people or things viewed collectively.”

Nothing changes a community for the better like volunteering. Whether you’re organizing a food or clothing drive, cleaning up local highways or being a mentor and positive role model for keikis in local schools, doing good in the community connects you with others in meaningful ways.

The teamwork our Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) ‘ohana exhibits each day in the workplace extends well beyond the shipyard fence line. Generous volunteers, both military and civilian, bring their spirit of giving and teamwork to local non-profit organizations such as Special Olympics Hawaii, Honolulu Humane Society and Make-A-Wish Foundation Hawaii. By regularly engaging with these organizations, our employees contribute to the enrichment and revitalization of our local O’ahu communities. The glowing and grateful feedback received from these organizations is an undeniable testimony that many regularly lend a hand where it is most needed.

The Pearl ‘Ohana is giving personified. The countless hours generously provided by our workforce help expand that concept throughout O’ahu communities. Employees support local robotics teams and mentor young students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs while also engaging in efforts to share their own experiences about the benefits a career at PHNSY & IMF can offer local youth. Others dedicate innumerable hours supporting our youth by coaching and mentoring community sports programs like Pop Warner football or Little League baseball held year-round throughout the island.

Their heartfelt efforts include visiting the elderly and the sick, organizing food and blood drives, maintaining our commitments to the Adopt-A-Highway program, serving holiday meals, and collecting clothing for those in need. They help coordinate the collection, preparation and shipment of items for care packages to be sent to our brothers and sisters who are forward deployed. They also work to help our nation’s veterans and Wounded Warriors who make our shipyard a unique place to work.

Additionally, PHNSY & IMF personnel generously donate to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) each year to help fund a slew of local and national charities. For the second year in a row, PHNSY & IMF was awarded the prestigious CFC Hawaii-Pacific Agency of the Year for outstanding contribution and commitment. With a donation totaling over $379,000, the shipyard’s unfettering generosity exhibited our “Aloha” spirit, gave hope, sent much-needed funds to more than 3,000 charitable organizations worldwide.

For our shipyard ‘ohana, it is not enough to be a part of the community; we strive for greatness, both at work and home. No one volunteers for recognition or thanks, but each volunteer deserves our deepest respect for sharing their time and talents, unselfishly giving to others, and “paying it forward.” For all those who willingly help others, thank you. It is the mindful act of giving that leads to positive results and uplifting change in people’s lives. Many, many mahalos to all our volunteers. You are deeply appreciated for keeping our fleet and communities fit to fight.


PHNSY & IMF is a field activity of NAVSEA and a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii, with a combined civilian, military and contractor workforce of approximately 7,100. It is the most comprehensive fleet repair and maintenance facility between the U.S. West Coast and the Far East, strategically located in the heart of the Pacific, being about a week’s steaming time closer to potential regional contingencies in the Indo-Pacific.


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