We are change agents of hope, transforming lives towards a stronger, healthier, and sustainable future.

About Us

Touch A Heart has been dedicated to preserving and enhancing the dignity of the homeless and disadvantaged in Hawai’i for over a decade.

In 2012, we began to ‘rethink homelessness’ and developed a business model that centered around collaboration and community. Specifically, we designed a vocational training program in food services that partnered with organizations with under-utilized commercial kitchens to house our program and then turn them into profit centers ‘with a purpose’.

Currently, our ‘one-of-a-kind’, vocational training program in food service trains women in transition with the marketable skills necessary to move toward sustainable independent living through employment.

Because our program is both place-based and high touch, women who are recovering from substance and alcohol abuse, many whom are single parents, will have the opportunity to obtain vocational readiness in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Stable employment will provide these women with the financial means to eventually secure affordable or subsidized housing, enabling their families to move out of transitional shelters into more permanent housing.

We’ve adjusted the proverb to read: “Give a woman a fish and you feed her for a day but teach a woman to fish and you feed her and her family for a lifetime.”

Our History

Since 2004, Touch A Heart has been offering informal social services mentorship, and tutoring, as well as providing meals to homeless families at Blaisdell Park, Waianae Boat Harbor, and the Kumuhonua Shelter.

By 2012, Touch A Heart expanded its number of service days to six days a week, actively collaborating with other community groups to conjointly fund and provide the volunteer-based manpower for this outreach effort.

After a decade of serving homeless families within our community, Touch A Heart adopted a new vision and strategy, then augmented the scope of its organization’s activities to address the challenges the homeless face in their efforts to transition out of the parks.

Shortly after, Touch A Heart developed a tangible plan to partner with other nonprofits with underutilized commercial kitchens to create a Food Services Social Enterprise. The commercial kitchens would serve as vocational training work sites for the constituents of the community, with revenues generated through commercially marketed products, catering services, and food delivery programs used to sustain program operations.

In 2015, through a partnership with the Salvation Army’s Family Treatment Services, Touch A Heart began utilizing their Kaimuki facility’s commercial kitchen to pilot a six-month Vocational Training Program. In addition, the commercial kitchen will be used to develop a sustainable Food Service Social Enterprise that will support the training through commercially marketed products, meals for residents of the treatment program and through a paid internship for the women who have finished the six-month program.

Board of Directors

Robin Kumabe - Executive Director

Robin has been with Touch a Heart, together with her husband for over 10 years.  In January 2012,  together with both past and present Board Members, Touch A Heart re-emerged with an expanded scope of its organization’s activities to not only address the challenges that homeless individuals face as they transition from the parks into stable living environments and lifestyles, but also, to build a sustainable model for nonprofits who partner with Touch A Heart.

Robin is also the Founder and CEO of bCause, an organization that is committed to transforming cause-driven businesses into thriving, sustainable enterprises by helping them reach their full, profitable potential.

Robin brings her experience in the arena of brand, marketing, and communications to support Touch A Heart and future partner organizations by honing in on their ‘cause’ (or their ‘reason for being’) and delivering an impactful, intentional, and inspirational experience to both internal and external stakeholders.

Lauren Nahme - Board President

The Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Kamehameha Schools, Lauren is responsible for facilitating the planning, monitoring, and reporting processes of the organization. She was formerly the controller and worked jointly with the Strategic Planning Division to synchronize organization-wide planning and budgeting activities. Lauren also worked for other organizations including Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, City Bank, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Additionally she was involved in numerous community service activities including being on the board for Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs and the Community Development & Financial Institution for the Charter Schools.

Her financial expertise and experience in the nonprofit arena will help Touch a Heart create a strong financial model for our programs and social enterprises.

Colin Kumabe - Board Member

A founding member, Colin has been committed to the program from the beginning.  Colin’s passion to serve the homeless goes back to the late 1980’s when he would volunteer his time weekly at the River of Life Mission. He also planned a Christmas Day gathering at two ecumenical housing communities on Oahu in 1990, providing gifts for the children and food for the families.

In 2004, he continued to serve at the grassroots level at the Blaisdell Park in Aiea when Touch a Heart was in its infancy. He continues to provide breakfast every Sunday morning for our ‘friends’ at Blaisdell Park, currently in its 9th year.

Colin began his experience in food service management at Wendy’s and moved to Zippy’s where he dedicated almost 25 years of his live.  Colin has been integral to building our program and continues to use his passion for baking by providing our signature items at events.

Lance Kakimoto - Board Member

Welcome, Lance! to the Touch A Heart Family!

Greg Leong - Board Member

Currently the Instructional Systems Design Branch Head for Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & IMF, Greg is responsible for the instructional training and development for the shipyard, and the lead for training technology research, development, and execution.  In addition he is an integral core team member for large scale (nationwide) instructional design and development of training for the US Navy’s public shipyards.  Before his work with the military, Greg spent 2 years managing Stuart Anderson’s Cattle Company and countless years in the entertainment industry as a DJ at various establishments.

Greg’s expert background, coupled with his experience in managing, gives our organization the help it needs to create and develop instruction materials for the training program.

Danny Goya - Board Member

Daniel “Ka‘eo” Goya is our newest Board Member. With over 15 years of experience teaching K-12 in the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and Hawai‘i Association for Independent Schools (HAIS), as well as being one of two NCFL (National Center for Family Literacy) Certified Trainers focusing their efforts on homeless families, he brings to us an extensive background in the Hawaiian culture, education and training.

Danny is the Program Director of Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF). Through their program, Ka Pa‘alana Homeless Family Education Program, they serve the homeless and at-risk families on the Leeward Coast of O‘ahu. He carries a deep understanding of how best to support, develop and implement our programs, through education, training, and direct services to this community.

Kathy Arasaki - Board Member

Welcome, Kathy! to the Touch A Heart Family!

Our Team

Colin Kumabe - Director of Operations

Colin serves as the Director of Operations & Programs and is also a Board Member.  With him, he brings to Touch a Heart, the wealth of experience gained from management in the food service industry. He has also been a support cook for Jason by taking care of all food purchases and setting up the operations for our events.  His bakery products are enjoyed by many and include some of our signature items.

  • 2012 – Current: Touch A Heart Director of Operations/Programs, Part-Time Baker & Cook
  • 1985 – 2005: Zippy’s Unit (Store) Manager
  • 1982 – 1985: Zippy’s Manager
  • 1979 – 1982: Wendy’s Store Manager

Chef Chad Haruguchi

As the Executive Chef and Trainer, Chad donates years of experience as a chef in quality restaurants and country clubs to Touch a Heart’s kitchen. His goal of teaching and inspiring passion for culinary arts is a driving force behind his work with the organization. He works together with Colin to train in both baking and general food services.

  • 2016 – 2017: Club Eclipse Cook
  • 2014 – 2016: Olomana Golf Executive Chef
  • 2012 – 2014: Leeward Bowl Executive Chef
  • 2010 – 2012: Honolulu Country Club
  • 2008 – 2010: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
  • 2007 – 2008: Hukilau Honolulu Sous Chef
  • 2006 – 2007: Sam Choy’s Sous Chef

Jamie Goya

Jamie Goya is a proud graduate of University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has a Bachelors in Family Resources and a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Jamie worked in the early childhood field for over 25 years as a teacher, accreditation facilitator, curriculum specialist, and Pre-k coach. She enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 daughters, and 3 dogs.

Chef Jason Tsubaki

Jason is on our Advisory Board and is also our consultant.   Presently he volunteers his time to help with our Vocational Training Program and catering projects, lending his expertise and exemplary cooking skills.  An incredible business leader, Jason is also helping to set up our food service enterprises.

  • 1989 – 1990: Kahala Hilton, Executive Sous Chef
  • 1988 – 1989: Westin Kauai, Sous Chef – “Cooks At The Beach”
  • 1974-1988: Ilikai Hotel, Fry-Cook to Executive Sous Chef
  • Other Places of work: Ala Moana Hotel • Byron II • Anna Millers • Pacific Club • Honolulu Club

Pastry Chef Brad Hull

Brad has graciously donated his expertise as a pastry chef to support us at our events by creating an array of awe-inspiring desserts.  He will also be supporting the Vocational Training Program.

  • Current Employment: Lanikai Cookies
  • 2004 – 2005: Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Executive Pastry Chef
  • 2003: Kakaako Bakers Bakery, Pastry Chef & General Manager
  • 2001 – 2003: Kapiolani Community College: Baking & Pastry Instructor
  • 1996 – 2001: Ihilani Resort & Spa, Executive Pastry Chef
  • Other Places of Work: Lanai Resort Partners • Hilton Hawn Village • Ritz Carlton • Napoleon’s Bakery