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Doing BIG Things Since 1963We’ve been impacting the lives of keiki for almost 50 years…and we’re just getting started!

Our History

In February 1963, Hawaii Judge Gerald R. Corbett summoned a group of civic-minded gentlemen to his chambers at Juvenile court to address a common concern over the rise in cases of "fatherless boys" involved in juvenile delinquency, truancy, and public disturbances. Their solution:  establish an organization on Oahu where qualified and dedicated role models could extend themselves to youth in need of guidance and support through one-to-one friendships. Judge Corbett believed that individualized guidance from role models would inspire troubled youth to consciously engage in positive over negative behavior. As a result, Big Brothers of Hawaii was officially incorporated in March 1963.

Big Brothers of Hawaii raised funds, established operating policies, and recruited qualified males who were willing to serve as "Big Brothers" to boys, or "Littles", in need of friendship. On October 27, 1964, the first Big Brother-Little Brother match was made between Henry Sumida, an energetic male volunteer, and 10 year-old Dennis Brown. Henry would continue serving the community as a Big Brother for over twenty years before serving on the Board of Directors. Dennis pursued a career in social services and in 1998 began to serve in his current position as President/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu, Inc., nineteen years after Big Brothers of Hawaii and Hawaii Big Sisters merged.

Big Brothers of Maui was founded in 1969 by a group of community-minded individuals who were concerned that the children with the highest percentage of delinquency were fatherless boys.  Big Brothers of Maui was organized as a community project to provide these boys with positive role models and mentors. Big Brothers of Maui embarked on a pilot study of the Big Sisters program, and after great success formally became Big Brothers Big Sister of Maui in January of 1977.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu expanded to serve the island of Kauai in 2007 and Hawaii Island in 2012.

On July 1st, 2012, independent agencies Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island will be unified as Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii. For the first time in the organization’s 49-year history, Big Brothers Big Sisters will be able to serve children across the entire state, fostering meaningful, one-to-one mentoring relationships for at-risk kids on every island. Each one of these relationships has the potential to change a child’s life and the lives of everyone he or she interacts with, for the better, forever.

Here is a look at our history, from the start:

Date Event

1904

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America was established as a mentoring program to support youth across the country

1963

Big Brothers of Hawaii was founded to benefit fatherless boys on Oahu

1964

The first Hawaii match was made between Big Brother Henry Sumida and Little Brother Dennis Brown, current CEO/President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu

1969

Big Brothers of Maui was founded to benefit fatherless delinquent boys on Maui

1972

Hawaii Big Sisters was founded for girls

1977

Big Brothers of Maui and Maui Big Sisters merged to form Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui

1979

Big Brothers of Hawaii and Hawaii Big Sisters merged to form Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu

2007

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kauai begins operations

2012 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawaii Island begins operations (April)

2012

Independent Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island are unified as Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii

2013
Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii celebrates 50 years of serving Hawaii's keiki

© 2014 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawaii, 418 Kuwili St. Ste. 106, Honolulu, HI 96817