Philanthropy: It’s All About You – May 2016
A Legacy of Giving: The Taniguchi Family and KTA Super Stores
The year was 1916. The Taniguchi family opened the first 500 square foot grocery and dry goods store in Waiakea Town, while on O‘ahu, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation opened its doors as well. One hundred years later, both are still here, celebrating their centennial, and looking ahead to the next 100 years.
Long-time HCF Board of Governors member and KTA executive Barry Taniguchi recently handed the KTA reigns to his son, but still keeps his fi nger on the pulse of the success of the store and the state of giving in Hawai‘i.
“Funds like the East Hawai‘i Fund is a vehicle for people to give what they can, even small amounts, and combined with the contributions of others, it can make a big difference in the community.”
Why is philanthropy important to you?
BT: My grandfather always believed that the family business can only survive if the community supported us. He’d always tell us it was our obligation, then, to support the community. In the store’s early days, my uncle rode his bike around the community to take orders, then returned with the deliveries. When the sugar workers went on strike, they charged their purchases at the store and paid the bill after they went back to work. Today, we’ve still got a few of those charge accounts. Families from back in the day who still shop with us.
Giving back runs deep in our family and we make sure to carry that value in our business – all of our store’s top management serve on nonprofi t boards across the island.
Why did you get involved with HCF?
BT: As an HCF Board member, I learned the many tentacles of philanthropy in Hawai‘i. HCF is like the Indian proverb of the blind men touching the elephant. One feels the tusk, another the leg, another the torso, another the trunk, and each thinks they know what it is. But it’s all those things, and more. HCF also helps nonprofi ts that might be subject-rich but yet do not have the management or resources to train, maintain, and sustain their mission.
Why did you help to start the East Hawai‘i Fund?
BT: When I saw the work of the West Hawai‘i Fund at HCF, I thought East Hawaii needed one too. So a few of us partnered and we collaborated with the Fred Yokoyama family and others in the community to make it a reality in 2010. It’s a vehicle for people to give what they can, even small amounts, and combined with the contributions of others, it makes a big di erence in the community.
Did You Know
The East Hawai‘i Fund at has contributed over $265,000 to over 35 nonprofi ts since 2010, supporting the Boys and Girls Club and Hope Services, among others.