Donor Spotlight: Kanani Fong
by Eileen Huck, Development Manager
Kanani Fong has always had a special place in her heart for members of the military. As the longtime manager of her husband’s surgical practice, she grew to know and respect the many veterans who came to him for medical treatment. However, when he closed his practice and joined the military himself in 2008, she gained a whole new perspective on the challenges facing military families.
In 2009, Kanani’s husband deployed to Afghanistan for six months. Knowing that their daughter, Kat, would be struggling with her dad’s deployment, Kanani signed her up for Operation Purple® camp, and says that camp was a great experience for Kat. “Along with surfing, canoes, wall climbing and telling ghost stories, she got to hang with other military kids.” Meeting and bonding with other children going through the same experience helped Kat get through the difficulties of having a deployed parent.
Kanani is committed to making sure that other military kids have the same opportunity Kat did. On her birthday this year, she set up a Birthday Wish on www.causes.com. Instead of gifts, she asked her friends to donate to Operation Purple. Her friends were inspired by her message that “together we can show these kids we believe in them and we support them.” Her friends were able to raise over $700 – more than enough to send a child to camp where they can escape some of the stress of having a parent deployed.
Now that her birthday celebration is over, Kanani is hoping to “pass the baton” and inspire other friends to set up Birthday Wishes to raise money for Operation Purple. “This is a really necessary program,” she says, noting that few programs focus on the needs of military kids the way Operation Purple does. She adds, “I really want to see it continue for many more years.”
The Association is committed to making Kanani’s birthday wish come true -- with the help of dedicated supporters like her.
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Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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