Neighbor island families in need now have a chance to travel to Oahu to be with their sick or injured child at Kapiolani thanks to Hawaii Public Radio (HPR) members and Hawaiian Airlines. HPR’s unique re-gifting “Radio Flyer” program allows donors of the radio station to transfer “HawaiianMiles,” a donor benefit from sponsor Hawaiian Airlines, to fly family members to and from Honolulu when their children are in need of the specialized care that only Kapiolani can provide.
HPR raises approximately 65 percent of its $4.2 million operating budget from individual donations, primarily through regular semi-annual pledge drives. One of the most popular incentives for contribution is the “thank you gift” from Hawaiian Airlines – providing 10 HawaiianMiles for every dollar pledged.
HPR’s Radio Flyer program was initiated in the fall of 2013 by the largest individual gift ever received in the station’s history from long- time member, local real estate developer Dick Gushman. He asked that the million HawaiianMiles he received as a premium for his $100,000 donation be re-gifted to Kapiolani Medical Center’s families-in-need. During that pledge drive, 49 other station members followed Gushman’s example and donated their Hawaiian Air premium, resulting in more than a million frequent flyer miles to Kapiolani.
The Radio Flyers incentive was again offered during HPR’s spring 2014 pledge drive and was met once more with impressive response from HPR’s member donors. Another nearly million HawaiianMiles were re-directed to this program managed by Kapiolani.
“We are grateful to our partners at Hawaii Public Radio and Hawaiian Airlines for helping to ensure that neighbor island family members who otherwise would not be able to afford travel expenses can be with their children at Kapiolani,” said Kapiolani CEO Martha Smith. “These costs are not covered by insurance, and research shows that patients heal better and faster when loved ones participate in their care. The ‘Radio Flyer’ program helps make that happen.”
HPR President and General Manager Michael Titterton added, “Our station members continue to inspire us with their generosity and their discernment. The work of Kapiolani has caught their imagination and we at HPR look forward to continuing partnerships with local institutions, such as Kapiolani and Hawaiian Airlines, that place a priority on
doing good in our community.”
“Our little family wouldn’t have been able to be together,” said Linda, mother of Kapiolani patient Jesslin. “We will be forever grateful.”