Sunday, December 3, 2017

Calling All Volunteers and Supporters!

IPA students collecting and wrapping gifts!

It’s time for our 6th Annual
Operation Holiday Heroes!

Christmas Hope!
We're gearing up to make the holidays brighter once again for the 19 military families at the Tripler Hospital's Fisher House.  It's like the famous Ronald McDonald House, but Fisher House Hawaii takes care of our U.S. military families. They house the families of sick, injured or wounded soldiers, veterans and their family members. And, they are ALWAYS full! 

Lots of Smiles!
Right now, there is a waiting list to get in!  At Fisher House, they believe that "families are good medicine" and we know that’s true! We learned that same lesson when our mom went through cancer treatment 10 years ago.

We'll keep you posted for Fisher House fundraising events in Hawaii and our wrapping party, in case you’d like to join us. If you'd like to drop off gifts or goodies, please do!  And, we will be purchasing Walmart gift certificates, flashlights, blankets, games, toys and everyday supplies for the residents, so if you want to volunteer or donate, we appreciate your support!

Tripler Hosp. Comm. Barr Awards IPA
In early December, I will be delivering the gifts with my IPA classmates, where we will share a meal and sing Christmas carols together! This is one of my favorite days of the year!

Happy Holidays! Love, Hannah

Ps. Here's a quick video from our very first "Operation Holiday Heroes" that helps to remind us of why we need to get involved and how much fun this event is!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

California Wildfire UPDATE...

Thank you all who have donated money, gift cards, clothes, and supplies to help families devastated by the Northern California wildfires! To date we have been able to make donations to first responders and other families who have lost their homes, cars, furniture and everything! Many of these people had to flee their homes in the middle of the night with just the clothes on their back!
Some generous donors are matching the first $10,000.00 in donations so we can help ease the burden on the families we have met over the past few weeks! 
The Walker Family
You can read some of their stories above on the "California Fire - Stories" tab. "CLICK HERE FOR STORIES"

And it’s not too late if you want to donate before the holiday’s! 
We appreciate you! 

Hannah and the California Dream Team

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dear First Responders,

Thank you for always taking care of us.
Now it's our turn to take care of you.

The stories are pouring in.  As  wildfires swept through neighborhoods in Northern California, many first responders lost their own homes as they were busy helping to evacuate residents and save lives.   

Dozens of doctors and nurses lost their homes while helping to evacuate people from the hospital during the fire. The Mill Valley
Fire Chief lost his home in the fire and then went back to work trying to help others. “At least 40 Bay Area firefighters have lost their homes in the Santa Rosa, Napa, and Sonoma firestorm, according to Marin Professional Firefighters.” The homes of two Novato Police Department employees were destroyed. And the stories are just beginning to emerge.

The Dream Team is starting our fundraiser to help our dedicated and awesome first responders and other victims of the Northern California Wildfires. Just like we did for Hurricane Harvey, we will be helping out by donating directly to families who are struggling because of the fires, one story at a time, one family at a time.

Thank you all who have reached out to donate and ask how you can help! We are grateful for all of our donors who have put your faith and trust in us over all these years. Now the emergency is in our own back yard.

Thank you so much!      
Hannah Button & The Bay Area Dream Team 

To all new donors – Dream of a Better World is a 501(c)3 non-profit, run by kids. Our motto is, “you are never too young, or too old, to make a difference.” We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for needs on all 7 continents. It’s our turn to help, one story at a time. 100% of all donations will go to help first responders and other families impacted by the Northern California fires.

If you'd like to DONATE... Please CLICK 
(above to the right, or at the bottom of our blog pages).
Or, send a check to:
Dream of a Better World
67 Del Oro Lagoon
Novato, CA  94949 Thank you!
- Hannah

Friday, October 13, 2017

California Dream Team JUMPING IN!

Hey Everyone,

You've heard us talk about our California Dream Team... well, they are JUMPING in to ACTION!  We've gotten a TON of calls about helping out.   And at the same time, the Marin County Dream Team Leaders are mobilizing to help those left homeless by the worst fire in California history.

We will keep you posted!  If you'd like to DONATE, CLICK the Northern CA Wildfires DONATE button ON THE RIGHT.

We are a NON-PROFIT 501(c)3 organization.  100% of your donations will go to help victims of the Northern California wildfire.


Thursday, September 28, 2017


We intended to update you sooner, because we certainly needed to say, "THANK YOU!"  Your response has been simply amazing. We are working diligently to ensure that all of the time, money and energy being put into this project by our donors and volunteers is making a BIG difference in the lives of Hurricane Harvey victims.   So, thank you ALL!  And a BIG shout out to our volunteers in Hawaii, Oregon and California... The Dream Team!  Your letters,  emails and fundraising efforts have been super effective!  Finally, a BIG shout out to Lee Cataluna, columnist and reporter at the Star Advertiser.  Your recent story generated some of the most ENCOURAGING mail that we've ever received.  Some came from teachers who reminded us that we are on the right track and to keep on "dreaming."  One envelope, marked "HE DID TOO," reminded us of a famous "Dreamer," John F. Kennedy, who said:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Or, as we like to say: Thank you for caring enough to not just "dream of a better world," but to go out and help make it happen.

- Hannah Button


(If you want to read Lee's article, CLICK on the individual 
pages below and they should enlarge)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Another Real Story!

Here is ANOTHER REAL STORY of the Sheridan Elementary school Nurses Assistant (and her family) that your DONATIONS are helping to get back to work and back on their feet!  The story is relayed by one of our contacts on the ground at Sheridan Elementary.

Melissa and Family being rescued!
Melissa (Staff Member): Melissa just joined our staff this school year; she was not working prior to her start in August because she was a stay at home mother. She rotates between 3 different campuses throughout the week serving as a nurses assistant. Her home was flooded and she lost everything. She is currently driving 1.5 hours to work each day in a car that was flooded and has since mildewed and smells very bad. Melissa is recently separated from her husband, so she is no longer receiving support from her 4 year old's father. She is living with her mother way across town from where she works. She does not know anyone on this side of town and it is her goal for her 4 year old to enroll in Pre-K in one of the schools that she works at. The problem is our Pre-K is only a half day program, which would require her daughter to go to a nearby daycare for the other 1/2 of the day. She does not know anyone on her work side of town who can care for her daughter.  Melissa is needing financial assistance to pay for daycare, and the financial assistance that comes from FEMA will not kick-in in time for her to pay for childcare expenses at the start of school on September 11th. Melissa lost everything in the flood and only has 2 pairs of clothes that she alternates through at work. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

School Started Today! And... Your DONATIONS Helped Make it Happen!


As of today, we have have sent over $15,000 to our contacts in Katy, Texas to help Sheridan Elementary teachers, students and their families get back to school, get back on their feet and for everyday necessities (like FOOD)!   

The stories of "need" have been heartbreaking, and they keep coming in.  There are still many, many people who need our help... and some families are without food.  Our contacts there have been doing an amazing job, identifying the most needy, finding the items most needed and delivering them.

Jose's Family before Hurricane Harvey
What we are realizing is that so many people have lost EVERYTHING, and just replacing their immediate needs will drain all of their savings.  Also, most are not covered by insurance for a natural disaster and they are left with bills, no housing, and no way to get to work.  It's absolutely CRAZY!  Even teachers, some who are single parents, are in that position and feeling HOPELESS. 

Quick Story:  Of a family YOU are helping... Jose's apartment was completely flooded and they left with nothing except a backpack with important documents. Hilda, the daughter, had started school in another district for 4 days before the floods came. Both parents worked hard to provide the child with her uniforms for school as well as school supplies, which she no longer has. This family does not have the money to purchase (again) the basic school needs for their child. Sheridan Elementary has provided her with a backpack, school supplies, and a toy, but this family needs everything... especially food.

What's left of Jose's Family's Belongings
As of today, we have sent out over $15,000 to help give TEACHERS and needy FAMILIES a sense HOPE.  The funds are providing food, uniforms, basic clothing, school supplies and personal items for getting students and some very needy families back to school and, hopefully, back on their feet.  We have also helped teachers, whose cars were totaled and not covered by either insurance or FEMA, helped teachers with new furniture items, gas cards and other basic needs.  In short, thanks to YOUR DONATIONS, we have been able to help to GIVE them HOPE and to get them BACK TO SCHOOL!

Where they are still living.
This coming week, we will continue with more of the
same... identifying the best way to help the neediest teachers and families.  It is becoming clear to everyone that FEMA financial assistance won't kick in (in time) to meet these basic needs.  And, it is definitely NOT getting them back to school, or meeting their every day expenses to do so... like childcare, cars, gas, furniture, clothing and FOOD... REAL LIFE, EVERY DAY MUST HAVES!

Thank you for your continued support!  It is REALLY WORKING!  


PLEASE FORWARD.... If ANYONE is interested, we STILL have teachers and families who REALLY NEED OUR HELP! 



 If you'd like to DONATE NOW.... CLICK the DONATE BUTTON on the upper right labelled:  


OR... send checks to:
Dream of a Better World
P.O. Box 455
Haleiwa, HI  96712  

Dream of a Better World is a 501(c)3 Non-profit.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Making "Back to School" happen in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey!

One teacher at a time...
One family at a time...
We will make a difference...  one story at a time.

According to the governor of Texas, hurricane Harvey displaced over 5,000,000 people... more than hurricane's Katrina and Sandy combined.   One of the worst communities hit was Katy, Texas with a population of about 16,000 people.

Sheridan Elementary is a Title 1 school situated in the heart of this community, where 66% of their families are disadvantaged.  The school buildings survived, but their school is still not open, because their teachers, families and communities are devastated. Many have lost their homes, their cars and most of their belongings.  This is where WE will lend our HELPING hands... getting the teachers and students of Sheridan Elementary back to school.

The good news is that we are uniquely situated to make a BIG difference there in helping those teachers and kids get back to school! 

Kelsey (Richvalsky) DeMarce, one of our long time Dream of a Better World supporters is a teacher at that very school.  She is working with us to relay their needs and to ensure that all of our raised support goes to where it's needed most.

All of our Dream Team members have voted and agree, our first priority... let's help those teachers who have lost their homes, cars and everyday items to get back to doing what they do best!

Sheikkaya - 4th Grade Teacher evacuating her family
"So many teachers have made a huge impact on who I am, and I am grateful for them every day." - Hannah, Hawaii Team Leader, age 17.

"Education is our key to the future, and the type of path we will take as a society." - Zack, California Team Leader, age 16.

"My life is so much better because there are caring teachers who are passionate about their work." - Max, California Team Leader, age 16.

Stephanie - Special Ed Teacher, kayaking to safety.
Our second priority is... these kids, this school and its community will need everything from food to uniforms and school supplies.   

So PLEASE join in. We PROMISE... 100% of your donations will go to this area of need. 


If you'd like to read STORIES from some of the TEACHERS that need our help!



 If you'd like to DONATE NOW.... CLICK the DONATE BUTTON on the upper right labelled:  


OR... send checks to:
Dream of a Better World
P.O. Box 455
Haleiwa, HI  96712  

Dream of a Better World is a 501(c)3 Non-profit.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hurricane Relief UPDATE...

Great News.... California, Hawaii and Oregon have "Dream Teams" mobilizing to make a real difference for Hurricane Harvey victims! 



More GREAT News... we have longtime Dream of a Better World friend and supporter, Kelsey (Richvalsky) DeMarce, at ground zero directing our efforts!  


The NEEDS here are overwhelming.  But, we are now well positioned to guarantee that your donations will make a HUGE difference in the lives of the families living there!  In the next few days, we will communicate more about those lives and stories.  

Here's a HINT... from Dream of a Better World, where kids help kids... and students help teachers too! :)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Relief - Here's What We Can Do to HELP!

Hurricane Harvey’s devastation is hard to put into words. As many people know now, severe flooding and 130+ mph winds have displaced over 30,000 people.

Thousands more are awaiting rescue and these numbers are rising. As those unaffected by Harvey, it’s important to realize that each and every one of these innocent people are counting on us for help.

Many are living without food, dry clothes and other essential supplies that are frequently taken for granted.

Here’s how YOU can support the victims of
Hurricane Harvey!
A quick and effective way to help is to donate.  If you'd like to donate through us, the "Hurricane Harvey Relief" DONATE button is on the right.

We will turn your generous donation into these desperately needed items.  Many different supplies are  needed in Texas relief shelters. By donating to Dream of a Better World’s Hurricane Harvey relief campaign, your funds will be used to buy necessary supplies for victims in need and for the tools used to clean up and restore damaged communities in Texas.

Below is a list of supplies needed.

Portable Blowers and Air conditioners
Extension Cords
Ground Fault Protectors
Pop up Canopies
Crow Bars
Utility Knives
Work Gloves
Dust Masks
Pressure Washers
Tools for Boarding Windows
Portable Lights
Portable Generators
Nail Guns
Saw Horses
Spray Paint
Safety Glasses
Deck Brooms
5-Gallon Resealing Bucket
Liquid Laundry Detergent
Liquid Household cleaner
Dish soap
Scrub Brush
Cleaning Wipes
Scouring Pads
Paper Towels
Disposable Rags
Air Freshener
Heavy-Duty Trash Bags
Insect Repellant
First Aide Kits
Rain Ponchos

There are many great organizations making a difference in the lives of Hurricane Harvey victims.  PLEASE pick one and JOIN in.   If you do decide to trust us with your donation, please let us know who inspired you to do in the comments section of your donation.  We would like to thank them personally in a future blog.

As always, we promise you that 100% of your donation through Dream of a Better World will go to needed items, needy families or organizations on the ground needing our help.  All of our overhead is DONATED or raised separately.

Thank your for helping!  The Dream Team

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sweet Shyne...

Hi Everyone!

Anyone who knows our mom, Diane Button, knows of her passion for community service and helping others. For the past 8 years, one of her most rewarding things that she does is working with Hospice Hawaii as a volunteer. She is constantly touched by the lives of the people she helps, but we don’t usually get to hear about these people because of patient confidentiality. But today we are writing you with a different story, one that we get to share.

For the past 8 months, my mom has been visiting a sweet little 12-year old boy with brain cancer.  She spends quality time with him, playing with trains, singing, watching movies, and communicating in their own special way since he is unable to talk.  I imagine it must be hard for my mom, but she always comes home with a full heart and a smile on her face after seeing him.

Here’s their story…meet my mom’s little friend, Shyne Aquino, and his dad, Vernon.

Shyne is like most boys, He loves cars, trains, and all things that move! His Dad, Vernon Aquino, is a single father, who has created a stable and loving home for his son. Shyne was not expected to learn, talk, walk, or even survive infancy. He is now 12 years old and Vernon says, “He is a miracle!”

This family is falling on some hard times and they need help. In May,  Shyne was hospitalized and unable to attend school, which prevented Vernon from working. Shyne is now back home with his dad, who is his full-time caregiver.

Here are some Little Things that we know will make a Big Difference to Shyne and Vernon: They need groceries, AAA batteries for Shyne's train set, Amazon, Walmart, Foodland or Costco gift cards. And as a huge surprise, we are hoping to get Shyne a new iPad!  

Help us spread the word! We will be collecting money to help them pay their bills so Shyne’s dad can relax and enjoy his time with his son. We will be collecting food and gift cards, too! Donations may be dropped off at our house or you can donate online for their ongoing expenses. Thank you SO, SO much!

You are all the BEST supporters we could ever hope for! Thank you for always being here for us and all of our projects!

Love, Hannah, Carly and Jack

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Join in the FUN! Heroes & Remembrance Run 2017!

Calling ALL Volunteers and Supporters! HELP US honor the over 7,000 soldiers killed in action since 9/11.  Let their families know "we will NEVER forget!" 

September 9th, 2017

It's the 6th running of the Hawaii Fisher House "Hero's & Remembrance Run," sometimes called:"Boots on the Bridge." 

Dream of a Better World is back again in a big way.  This is a “free” event because these fallen service members, and their families, have already paid the ultimate price!  

But, we NEED your help!

If you'd like to donate, just CLICK on the "Support Our Troops" DONATE button.  

We also need volunteers from 6 a.m. until noon to help hand out water to the thousands of race participants. It will be an emotional, special day to honor over 7,000 fallen U.S. soldiers, killed in action since 9/11. 

Words can not describe the appreciation that we have for the dedication and unbelievable sacrifice of the men and women who's 7,000 + boots lined the Ford Island bridge. 

It is always a memorable, fun and fulfilling way to support our troops and make a difference!  

Thank you to EVERYONE for showing up and giving your support!  


We will NEVER forget!

If you'd like to register for the run, you can do so at Fisher House Hawaii:

Register for T-shirts and "official race registration" at: 
email or call 436-5543 or 
email or call (931) 217-0800.

Fisher House Hawaii is one of 61 locations worldwide supporting America's military in their time of need.  Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 22,000 families, and have made available over 5.2 million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990.  Fisher House is funded by public donations and you can donate to Tripler Fisher House on-line at or mail donations to: Tripler Fisher Houses, 317 Krukowski Rd., Honolulu, HI  96819.