Uber Driven Partners impacting their community
Hawaii is a place of Aloha, and in the spirit of community, the Uber Hawaii team is proud to partner with drivers who give back so much to our Islands. Earning money through Uber provides them the flexibility to support their community through working with the islands’ non-profit organizations.
Getting to know the Uber driver partners beyond the wheel gives us insight into this wonderful community. This month we are highlighting “Auntie Pupule”, Lynn Vasquez, the Founder and President of The Slippah Foundation. The term “Slippah” is iconic to Hawaii and it inspired Lynn in the early stages of her journey to start what is now known as The Slippah Foundation. Lynn has been an Uber Driver Partner since April of this year, and she is also a driving force in her community helping put Slippahs on the feet of Hawaii’s homeless.
Here’s a quick look at a conversation we recently had with Lynn. Her personal story and her commitment to the community really blew us away, and we are proud to play a role in her story – however small:
How long have you worked at The Slippah Foundation?
“It’s been 10 years since we started the Slippah Foundation in 2005. The Mayor Wright public housing project is where the story began. My Christmas wish was to give the kids Slippahs who were less fortunate and did not have them. I lived in that public housing project, and before that I was homeless with my kids and got out of it by working hard and not feeling sorry for myself. My son is now a First Sergeant in the Army. Every year we go back and give out Slippahs on Christmas morning at 6am till we finish throughout the island.”
What made you start The Slippah Foundation?
“Every year I would see these ten boys playing football without footwear. I promised myself I would get them footwear and not let another year go by seeing this happen. In the first year, we got over 500 pairs of Slippahs and now we take clothes toys, canned goods, and other items – not just slippahs. We’re not limited to Oahu as we have expanded to Kauai, Big Island and Maui too! We focus on the “Forgotten ones” who go under bridges and in places outside of the usual homeless locations.”
What do you do at the Slippah Foundation?
“We give from the heart, provide slippahs to the homeless, and simply provide Aloha expecting nothing in return. As Co-Founder and President, I want to spread the message throughout the island with the help of our volunteers. In 2009 with the help of my partners Kehaulani and Blaine we became a real 501(c)3 nonprofit! One of our highlights was being recognized by the House of Representatives for the work that we do in our community. This came as a blessing and reinforced our passion for the things that we do.”
What is your favorite part of that job?
“My favorite part is that everybody is a volunteer, and we get 5-20 volunteers depending on event. The message I want to give to them is ‘Just because you live in a housing project doesn’t mean you can’t get out of this” If you have the will there is a way.’”
How many days a week do you dedicate there?
“It’s part of my every day. This is what I do. Uber’s flexibility allows me the time and money to do what I am passionate about and support my foundation.”
Why do you like to work in the non-profit sector?
“Seeing the eyes of the kids is why I do this and why I love doing what I do. As a foundation we are not here to judge but to give, and you give with Aloha.”
Why do you drive with Uber?
“Uber has given me the ability to not worry about where the next slippah is going to come from. I can purchase the Slippahs if we don’t have enough. Uber has given me flexibility and earnings to continue my passion and support my foundation”
What’s next for The Slippah Foundation?
“Everyday we need to get Slippahs and storage. Our dream is to make our own Slippahs, and our 5-10 year plan is to employ the homeless to make them and provide them opportunity.”
How can you volunteer?
DO YOU WANT THE FLEXIBILITY TO CHANGE YOUR COMMUNITY?
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