Akira Sakima has dedicated years of service to his community. Since 1960, he has placed his focus on health care, social services and educational service. Now that Mr. Sakima is retired, almost all of his personal time is spent serving his community. To date, he has served more than 8,810 hours.
Mr. Sakima's volunteer service is very diverse. He currently works with the Kalihi Palama Community Council, whose purpose is to help divert youth from engagement in crime and delinquency. Mr. Sakima has provided leadership in responding to the neighborhood and council's concern for these difficulties that plague youth living in this disadvantaged community.
He has helped raise money for the Kalihi YMCA to provide activities, excursions, and educational programs normally unaffordable to teenagers and children.
For 23 years, Mr. Sakima has served on the board of directors and as board president for Kokua Kalihi Valley (KKV). KKV is a community-based and community-operated health and human service agency serving the low-income and immigrant families in Honolulu, HI.
Mr. Sakima is a former state legislator for Hawaii. His political skills have helped his community in many ways. He was chairman of the Education Committee on the State Legislature. Now, with his interest and skills, he is enhancing the statewide School Board, serving as a member.
As past president and board member of the Hawaii United Okinawan Association, he has helped with fundraising and has been most influential in building and strengthening cultural, social, and educational bridges between Okinawa and Hawaii. Mr. Sakima houses and hosts Okinawan exchange students every year, raised funds to build an office in Naha, Okinawa that provides information about Hansen's Disease to Okinawans and taught Okinawans new agricultural skills.
In addition, Mr. Sakima has served as a congregational pastor, church administrator, and instructor for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There he spends time visiting sick or disabled members in their homes, in hospitals or in care facilities.
Among many other awards and recognition, Mr. Sakima was the Mayor's Outstanding Senior Male Volunteer in 1998 and received a certificate of recognition from the government of Japan for fostering a goodwill relationship between Japan and Hawaii in 1985.