Hawai‘i Hearts

It was off the coast of Kailua-Kona that Mariska first experienced her own heart awakening—a meaningful, healing connection to her own potential. Inspired by the beauty of Hawai‘i and its healing power, her vision for Joyful Heart was born. 

Since then, we have invested more than $4.5 million in innovative programs, coalition building and partnerships in Hawaiʻi directly assisting more than 3,500 survivors and the professionals who serve them. Hawaiʻi is special to us, not only in the heart and spirit of our founder, Mariska Hargitay but as a unique place of healing and wellness that blesses Joyful Heart and Hawai‘i’s peoples. 

Much of our work has been made possible by the generous support of our Hawaiʻi Hearts—a committee of volunteers with a strong affinity for our mission and vision. The Hawai‘i Hearts have played a key role in expanding our work throughout the state.

Current Hawaiʻi Hearts:

Kristen Chan, Co-Chair
Catherine Lin
Nalani McLaughlin Holliday, Co-ChairJill McLean
Leland ChesbroKaren Polivka
Sydney Fernandez FasiRachel Ross
Brynn FosterJeanie Schmaltz
Stacey Hee HughNicole St. George
Kim Hehir Wanda Watumull
 Stephanie Johnson Sherry Harper Wong 
Lynn Lally 



In Hawai‘i, over the past nine years, we have: 

  • Directly assisted over 3,500 survivors and the professionals who serve them through Healing & Wellness retreats and workshops
  • Specifically served over 400 individuals from more than 25 local organizations through our Heal the Healers programs
  • Formed a Hawai‘i Advisory Committee to inform our work in the community
  • In partnership with the Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund, launched One Strong ‘Ohana, the most comprehensive child abuse and neglect public awareness campaign in Hawai‘i to date
  • Provided Namelehuapono Wahine for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse that integrates Hawaiian values, traditions and practices with other healing modalities
  • Begun to develop a children’s curriculum using principles and practices from Namelehuapono, with the goal of using Hawaiian culture to enhance health and wellness for children who have lived with family and domestic violence.

“Living here in Hawai‘i, we know that there is something wonderful and powerful in the islands. So when I first learned about Joyful Heart and their work here, I knew immediately I had to get involved. In my time participating I’ve seen women heal and felt souls open. I’ve witnessed soft smiles give way to newfound laughter and fear give in to trust. I heard women say they felt better than they had ever felt. Anyone who has had their light turned off deserves the tools and the people to help turn it back on.”  

- Nalani McLaughlin Holliday, Hawai‘i Hearts Co-Chair 

We invite you to read about all of Joyful Heart's recent accomplishments in Hawai‘i and across the country by downloading our Accomplishments Report here.

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