Shining the Spotlight on Volunteer Brie Lacaille this National Volunteer Month!

Brie Lacaille is a Starbucks district manager in Waikiki and has partnered with Helping Hands Hawai‘i’s Community Clearinghouse for almost two years. Brie has made great contributions as a supporter and a volunteer. She began volunteering at a very young age and believes volunteerism is an important part of working with the community in Hawaii. Here’s an excerpt, edited for brevity and clarity, from a recent chat she had with us.

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Why did you begin volunteering?

I consider myself a “nonprofit baby.” My parents were both in nonprofits. My father was in Junior Achievement of Hawaii and March of Dimes Hawaii for many, many years. In fact, he was the director when I was young and was also with the American Cancer Society. My mom did Girl Scouts of Hawaii, Children’s Advocacy Project of Hawaii’s Hawaii Kids At Work program, and then she’s been involved in nonprofits on the Big Island for the last 15 years as well.

Personally, I served as a Board of Director for a nonprofit preschool. I feel like I’ve been in the space for a long time.

How did you connect with Helping Hands Hawai‘i?

Starbucks has a program called Coffee With a Cop, and we do these at our stores to give HPD an opportunity to connect with the community over coffee. We provide a space for our law enforcement to sit and listen to community members’ questions or concerns. 

One of our Waikiki community police officers worked at Helping Hands Hawai‘i before joining HPD. He asked if we wanted to partner, and we invited you down for Coffee With a Cop. From there, we established a partnership and looked for other ways we could support the organization.

What were some of the other ways you supported the organization?

In addition to the volunteering that our team does, we have collected school supplies for Ready to Learn and holiday gifts for Adopt a Family at our stores to support families in need. We also have a program at Starbucks called the Neighborhood Grant. Twice a year our employees can vote or nominate a community organization to receive a grant from our Starbucks Foundation. In 2022, we put up the organization for a Neighborhood Grant, and Helping Hands Hawai‘i has been able to get a grant every round ever since. 

 What motivates you to contribute your volunteering to the community? 

I feel like I was raised to be of service since my parents were that way; to me that’s most fulfilling. Sometimes my motivation is to set a positive example for my own children to be involved in the community and sometimes they join me. I think it’s so important because as a kid, I probably didn’t appreciate that; I just did it because I had to. As I got older, I realized how much I enjoyed the giving of my time. I don’t feel like I can always give financially on my own, but if I can at least give my time, it’s worth it. 

I think as a mother, I am most drawn to the causes that positively impact women, children, and families. I’m thankful that I have what I have in my life, knowing there are people who are not as fortunate. Anytime I can connect and give my time in that way, it’s most special. I think that’s what draws me to Helping Hands Hawai‘i.

What would you tell people who are interested in volunteering but are hesitant about it?

Just do it. I feel like, as with anything, our time is super valuable. But if you make time for it, it’s worthwhile. I’ve never, ever gone to a volunteering event and thought, “That was a waste of time.” You have to just commit to it. It’s like going to the gym; sometimes it might seem like a chore, and you could be doing other things. But once you get there and you see the results, you’re more motivated to continue. I just get so much fulfillment from interacting with other volunteers and the community that’s being served. 

In 2023, nearly 300 volunteers, including Brie, contributed more than 1,900 hours of service to support Helping Hands Hawai‘i’s mission. Many volunteers assisted with our seasonal projects, and we’re currently looking for volunteers to get involved with our summer Ready to Learn project. Volunteers can coordinate a school supply drive within their company or together with their family members. They can come in and assemble school supply kits and help us distribute completed school supply kits to students and their families.

Learn more about our volunteer opportunities by emailing our Volunteer & Community Relations Coordinator at or signing up for our monthly Volunteer Newsletter to receive information.

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