May 23, 2020 | Source:

Architecture firm G70 gives back to Hawaii nonprofit clients for Covid help

It was a TV news story about Hawaii Baptist Academy preparing meals from the school’s cafeteria for people in homeless camps impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic that got Sheryl Seaman thinking about donating to G70’s nonprofit clients.

“They were generating 250 meals, lunches and dinners, and I thought wow, we have a lot of nonprofit clients and … they’re all doing something,” said Seaman, vice chair and principal-in-charge of the Honolulu-based architecture and planning firm’s interior design division.

Seaman reached out to Leslie Wilcox, president and CEO of PBS Hawaii — G70 designed the public television station’s new headquarters — who told her how the station had to pivot its programming to deliver educational content throughout the day for kids at home from school.

Seaman also serves on the long-range planning committee of the Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division, and knew that the nonprofit was providing meals and housing vouchers for people who were unemployed because of the pandemic.

“Let’s reach out and help our nonprofit clients who are going above and beyond the call — like the Nuuanu Y – they’re doing childcare for frontline responders who don’t have childcare,” Seaman said she told her partners. “I put it on the table and everybody said ‘yes.'”

The result was a gift of $24,000 to seven Hawaii nonprofits — in addition to Hawaii Baptist Academy, PBS Hawaii, the Salvation Army and the YMCA of Honolulu Nuuanu branch, Iolani School received a grant for fabricating more than 11,000 face shields made in the school’s 3D printing lab and donating them to health care facilities nationwide; Kupu received money to help provide meals and education opportunities for youth; and the Girl Scouts of Hawaii received funds for providing online education and troop meetings.

The firm’s 15 principals used the money they had set aside from their own paychecks because of the change in the economy.

“This preserves some capital; especially when this thing was starting to come down in March,” said Charles Kaneshiro, G70’s president and chief operating officer. “I mean there’s so much uncertainty [about] what the future is going to hold for architecture firms.”

Kaneshiro noted that the nonprofits were using their own funds for the pandemic-related programs at a time when revenue is down for most.

“[They are] all spending money to help do something to help the community, so let’s let’s help them,” he said.

Read the Article on Pacific Business News here