Common Grace is a mentoring program focused on putting children in the third to sixth grades on a new, positive path. More than 20 Oʻahu elementary schools and one on Kauaʻi participate in this life-changing program. Many of the children we mentor lash out in the classroom, perform badly in school or have little to no friends.
We believe that a child who seeks attention needs attention. We explore the reasons behind their actions. We’ve discovered it’s often the result of loneliness. They may be neglected, with no one to encourage, motivate or listen to them. We pair them with a loving adult mentor who can provide the support these children need.
The idea of Common Grace began in 1999, the day after two teenagers shot and killed their fellow students at Columbine High School. These teens were hurting and had no one who cared whether they lived or died. Jay Jarman, a retired youth minister, decided he never wanted a mass shooting in Hawai‘i. He founded Common Grace and continues to serve as Co-Executive Director.
Altogether, we have deployed over 2,000 mentors and formed over 60 church and school partnerships. In the last few years, we have begun implementing a program called YouthGrace in high schools, which pairs excelling juniors and seniors with lonely keiki.
We recently relocated to the Palolo Chinese Home campus and are excited to be launching a third program — GrandGrace. It’s a multi-generational program that benefits elders, teens and children. GrandGrace allows mentor and mentee pairs to build their friendship as they engage with an elder. Palolo Chinese Home provides the perfect setting for everyone to share experiences. This program allows residents to interact with the mentors and mentees, who feel empowered because they can make a difference in someone’s life.
As a 501(c)(3), we welcome financial or in-kind support. Each year, we participate in Foodland’s Give Aloha, O‘ahu’s Visitor Industry Charity Walk and Friends of Hawai‘i’s Sony Open. If you’d like to help celebrate our 15th anniversary and be involved in any of these fundraisers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to commongrace.org/donate.