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February Makana Pono

Posted on February 24, 2021

Makana Pono: Employee Giving Program

Agnes Villanueva

Organization: Special Olympics Hawaii
Agnes is a registered nurse and our February Makana Pono designee
Islands Hospice RN Agnes Villanueva grew up with four foster brothers and witnessed how her parents cared for them with unconditional compassion and understanding. “My parent’s compassion has allowed me to see first-hand the power of what kindness, love, and understanding can do for the recipient and the giver.”

From her childhood experience, she developed a desire to help people with special needs and carried that with her when she started a career as a special education teacher, then a nurse. It also led her to volunteer for the Special Olympics Hawaii, an organization that empowers children and adult athletes with disabilities.

As our February Makana Pono awardee, Agnes is directing her $5,000 Makano Pono award to Special Olympics Hawaii to help them continue their athletic training and competitions. Special Olympics sports programs and competitions allow kids to form friendships and learn and build courage and sportsmanship. Agnes’ Makana Pono donation will go towards equipment, uniforms, and health supplies that can help transform a young athlete’s life.

“It’s humbling to witness the participants’ determination, competitiveness, and joy as they compete,” explained Agnes. “It was apparent that the participants looked forward to the events which gives them something to work towards.”

Congrats, Agnes! You may learn more about the great work by the Special Olympics Hawaii and how they kept their programs going even during COVID at SOhawaii.org.