The Puka Project 2018 Launches today for 3 Maui women

Aloha Maui and the wider world!

This year I decided to consolidate the puka drive into one month - "Pass a Puka on Month" to create one large wave of community compassion and giving. We will be supporting 3 Maui women that have been nominated or have reached out for assistance in their healing process by collecting pukas and making them puka necklaces. Drop jars will be open for puka collection at all 5 of our locations through the month of November. Our hope is that through the webs of social media and the ohana circles of these women, we can touch as many people across our island as possible. I believe the healing goes both ways, as it is what we do for each other that heals. Look out for drop jars at our amazing puka project partners counters- Belles Surf Cafe, Sip Me (all 3 locations), Manakai Swimwear.


These 3 inspiring women deserve all of the love. Lets send it to them through the seas gifts of Puka shells. The women this season all also happen to be incredible writers, so I will share more about them and their journey through their eyes throughout the month.

Candy Croteau of Haiku, Maui

Healing from the loss of her soulmate, finding her new path.


Candy and John realized their dream and moved to Maui just over 20 years ago. They built a beautiful life together raising two children on their land in Haiku. They were in love as any couple could ever be, truly soulmates. Together they beat Johns head and neck cancer and nursed him back after a horrific tractor accident.  In December 2016 John passed suddenly from an aneurysm. Candy writes, “The person who was the witness to my life is gone – no one else knows all the stories and inside jokes or can share the loving glances and warm hugs. There are no words to describe the limbo I am in.”

Amy Yamaguchi of Lahaina, Maui

Rebuilding after her home was taken by the fires from Hurricane Lane this summer

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Amy's home of 8 years stood on the hills of Lahainaluna. That all changed this August when a fire from hurricane lane burnt it down. Amy does not resonate with the label "victim of the fire". She writes "Yes, a fire vortex took my residence and most items I’ve ever owned. But I feel the gifts received have far outweighed that which was lost. I am changed from this experience- I now feel the community, locally and globally, so vividly, as if we all exist on the same web of life. I feel the fire was a way for the universe to speak to me, deliver a life lesson, and remind me that I am not forgotten."

Young Maui Woman

Honoring her healing process by keeping her name private


A young woman emailed me and shared her story of two sexual assaults during her college years. She describes first denial and then loss of self love, respect, and esteem. For 9 years she has lived with the wound deepening as she self abused and suppressed healing. After moving to maui her broken heart called her to heal. The energy of her email conveyed such strength and determination to heal, I knew I had to support her with a puka project necklace. She writes “I am healing. Day after day I struggle to move forward. I am heading into the light but the puka within myself is still ever-present. I am going to turn that hole into being whole. I know I can do it. I have to. To save myself. I am working so hard on this healing journey.

Her writing was so raw and so beautiful it brought me to tears.

“I feel called to wear a puka necklace as a reminder that although the puka in me will never go away, it can become something beautiful. That we all are one, we all will survive the darkest storm of our life.”

Amy after the fire

“ A kitchen towel that said love. When I saw it, I exclaimed, "Love survived!""

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Everyone is invited to be a part of the Puka Project. The success is entirely in the hands of our community members. Lets support healing. community. inclusiveness. love.


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Mahalo for reading!

<3 Puka Perri

Sep 2018: Cynthia Birthday Celebration fighting Cancer with Grace

Cynthia is still fighting her courageous and graceful journey with cancer. You can read the long version of her most recent gofundme here. But in short, she is still fighting. She still goes out and spreads her light in the world. She traveled across the country to say goodbye to her closest friends. She has been granted a few months worth of a very expensive non insurance covered treatment that others with ovarian cancer have seen positive results with. September 28th her friends are hosting a birthday celebration/fundraiser for her these upcoming costs. Auctions, musicians, celebrating of life and love is in store! You are invited! Puka necklace to be auctioned off.


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Jan Hunter's Puka Drive Comes Full Circle on Valentines Day

The Puka Drive for Jan Hunter ran for two weeks right before Christmas. The community rallied around Jan and collected pukas and passed them on to her via the drop jars across Maui. People close to the Hunter family, Geoff's friends, and people who just wanted to send their love to Jan participated. A beautiful Tahitian Pearl was also passed on to add to her necklace. 

On Valentines day Jan and Geoff's girlfriend Brooke came over and I presented Jan with her special gift.  We spent the afternoon sipping champagne, talking story, and sharing memories of Geoff. We decided to make Geoffs dad Ross a keychain with some of the extra pukas (there were a lot!).  Jan and the whole Hunter family were honored to be part of The Puka Project.


Jan and her Pukas

She is the final recipient of the 2017 puka gifting season. See you fall 2018 for puka gifting season 2!