Getting Involved: Vegan-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities on Maui

Photo from Leilani Farm Sanctuary.

Photo from Leilani Farm Sanctuary.

Community involvement is not for everyone, but if you want to work with kindred spirits, learn and give something back, volunteering may be for you. Here are some vegan-friendly volunteer opportunities on Maui.

Helping Animals

Even though it is not a religious organization, we have called Maui’s only vegan animal sanctuary, Leilani Farm Sanctuary, “the spiritual center for veganism on Maui.” When you shelter approximately 300 animals of many species, volunteers are continuously needed to care for them and maintain the facility.  Leilani welcomes residents and visitors.  “Join us on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. to help out at the farm. Projects may include gardening, cleaning the barn, carpentry, animal grooming, handyperson jobs, window washing, cleaning rabbit yard, trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, fence installation/repair, and more. Your help will make a meaningful difference to Leilani Farm Sanctuary. To participate, please email your RSVP to info@leilanifarmsanctuary.org.

Maui Animal Solutions helps animals on Maui through public education, advocacy for individual animals, and saving equines one by one.  If this appeals to you, call (808) 268-6062 or email animalsolutions@hawaiiantel.net.  You may also use this form to communicate interest.

If your passion is helping to rescue or care for rescued animals, you could also check out the Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation (HARF) and the Maui Humane Society.  However, if you are uncomfortable with organizations that may feed some animals non-vegan food, stick with Leilani.

Sharing the Bounty

Two chapters of national organizations, Maui Food Not Bombs and Maui Chilis on Wheels, distribute free vegan food.  Maui Food Not Bombs “freely serves cooked and prepared vegan food to the hungry for world peace.” If you are interested in helping, use the “send message” option on its Facebook pageChilis on Wheels seeks to make veganism accessible to all.  Volunteers are needed to deliver free vegan lunches to people in need. If you are interested, email Nicole at maui@chilisonwheels.org or call her at 866-4811.

Photo from zenislandfarm.com.

Photo from zenislandfarm.com.

Food, Agriculture and Education

Based in Haiku, Zen Island Farm uses a veganic (vegan+organic) approach to growing plants.  It has applied a permaculture design and practices Japanese natural farming methods free of pesticides and chemicals.  Volunteers are welcome to help maintain the farm yard. If you are interested, send an email to ayako@zenislandkitchen.com.

The Common Ground Collective (CGC) is a nonprofit that provides education and assistance to promote food security and create new opportunities in Maui.  While CGC does not promote animal agriculture, its foster and mobile farming programs may, on occasion, harvest produce on private properties that also engage in animal agriculture.  We’re sure that if you discuss your needs with the folks at CGI, you can work out appropriate volunteer activities.  To receive information about volunteer opportunities, fill out the form at the bottom of this page or email cgcmaui@gmail.com.

What is more plant-based than a botanical garden? The mission of the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens in Kahului is to foster appreciation and understanding of Maui Nui’s plants and their role in Hawaiian cultural expression by providing a gathering place for discovery, education, and conservation. To inquire about volunteer opportunities, call (808) 249-2798.

If you like helping to build organizations from the ground up, David Johnston is looking for co-founders for a worker-controlled cooperative. “The focus of the business is to put on festivals, events, forums, workshops, retreats, unconferences, skill hubs, adventures, and convergences. We will be serving food and promoting the raw vegan fruitarian (all of these are eaten raw: fruits, greens, vegetables, nuts, and seeds) lifestyle in all that we do for health and healing.” If you are interested, search for him in Facebook (David Johnston, Maui) and send him a private message.

Finally, if music is your cup of tea, we know of at least two vegan activists who have served as on-air personalities at Maui’s beloved Mana‘o Radio. You may use this form to contact the station.

We’re sure we missed a few vegan-friendly volunteer opportunities.  Help us expand this list.  Please share information with us at mauiveganlife@gmail.com

Eric Baizer