Early members of the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation nurtured an ambitious dream – to build and maintain a care home where elderly women of limited means could be cared for with dignity and compassion. In response to a membership survey taken in 1955, 70% of the members voted in favor of a care home as the organization’s major project and in October 1956 efforts were launched to turn that dream into a reality.
The Japanese Women’s Society Foundation successfully raised $360,000 in the initial quarter century of fund raising. A decision was made to join in partnership with Kuakini Hospital, which in 1973 announced plans for a new Progressive Health Care Center. When the building – renamed Hale Pulama Mau (House of Cherishing Care) – opened in 1980, Kuakini Home, formerly housing only men, at last opened its doors to women. On the care home floor of Hale Pulama Mau a plaque is displayed that reads: “This floor dedicated to the JWS of Honolulu, 1980.” Financial support continues as well – to date, the JWSF has contributed a total of $750,000 to Kuakini Home.
In 1990, the American Health Care Association of Washington, D.C. named The Japanese Women’s Society Foundation “Group Volunteer of the Year” in recognition of the memberships’ efforts in the field of care for the elderly.
On July 16, 2006, with the approval of the membership, “The Japanese Women’s Society” was changed to, “The Japanese Women’s Society Foundation.” Amendments and restatements of the By-Laws were also made. The Care Home Committee fell under the Community Service Committee’s agenda. Therefore, not only was the newly-formed Community Service committed to continuing its work with Hale Pulama Mau’s Care Home but expanded to provide special events and activities for residents of other selected care homes and groups as well.
For the term 2007-2008, the Community Service Committee members: Doris Uchida, Chr., Irene Kaichi, Laurie Niiyama, and Marjorie Yoshioka completed the goals by servicing Kuakini’s Care Home, Hale Ku’ike Care Home, Island Nursing, Leahi Hospital Care Home, and Meals on Wheels projects.