HelpOki was established in January 2011, over twelve years ago, when our founder, Chris, experienced a powerful encounter with homelessness. He observed a homeless man searching for food in the trash, only wearing a single flip-flop. Having been homeless as a young man, Chris could empathize with the man's position and felt compelled to assist him by offering his own sneakers and some money.
This encounter ignited Chris's determination to create a volunteer community dedicated to ending poverty in Okinawa. Though we have not encountered the elderly gentleman again, we remain deeply appreciative of his inspiration and impact on Chris and Okinawa. The homeless man's influence motivates us to create a meaningful difference in Okinawa each and every day, and we are truly grateful for that.