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Tripler Fisher House Gets Help From IPA Students: Operation Holiday Heroes

Two Island Pacific Academy students spearheaded another successful mission this week: Operation Holiday Heroes saw the delivery of 120 wrapped and ready Christmas gifts to the residents of the Tripler Fisher House. Hannah (’18) and Jackson Button (’16) have devoted themselves through their own non-profit–Dream of a Better World–for the last four and a half years working to collect funds and gifts for the families of sick, injured, or wounded soldiers and veterans.

Hannah Button with holiday gifts 2015
Hannah Button sits amidst the gifts she collected and wrapped for delivery to the Tripler Fisher House.

Anita Clingerman, manager of Tripler Fisher House, says, “It’s especially difficult that most of our residents are far away from family and home during the holidays.  Hannah and the Dream of a Better World kids really lift our spirits, just when we need it most.  And, they are another great reminder that people still care about our military families.”

The Button siblings wrap and deliver gifts on Valentine’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, and Christmas, all holidays that are especially meaningful to families. Since 2011, they have earned, collected and donated over $18,500 worth of gifts and support to the Fisher House. The moment that inspired this targeted giving to military heroes and their families was a poignant one.

IPA students delivery of presents 2015
Jackson Button (’16) and Hannah Button (’18) had so many gifts for the Fisher House they needed helpers and were assisted by fellow IPA student Carson Lofton (’16), wearing orange lei, and IPA alumna Kimberly Uehisa (’15), second from right.

Four and a half years ago, Hannah experienced for the first time an emotional scene that plays out regularly with our military families. She was at school sitting with her classmate, Riley.  A soldier quietly entered the classroom and tapped Riley gently on the back.  As she turned around, Riley screamed with excitement to see her dad home from a year of deployment in Afghanistan. Tears rolled down Riley’s face, and soon Hannah found herself in a puddle of tears as well.  “I am so lucky to have friends like Riley, whose families are willing to sacrifice in so many ways to keep our country safe,” Hannah explained to her own family, after getting home that day.

Mountain of Gifts for Operation Holiday Heroes 2015
Gifts from Operation Holiday Heroes will bring holiday cheer to the 19 military families who will be residing at the Tripler Fisher House over the winter holidays.

Hannah and her siblings are no strangers to lending a helping hand, having started their non-profit eight years ago, after their mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. “We learned what it was like to really need help, and help came from everywhere,” says Hannah.  Since then, Dream of a Better World, has raised over $275,000 to help kids and families locally and around the world.  Hannah also worked tirelessly this past year as she and Dream of a Better World were volunteers and sponsors for this year’s “Heroes & Remembrance Run” across Admiral Clarey (Ford Island) Bridge.  

Troop special edition Special Delivery
The Button siblings’ cookbook is available in a “Support Our Troops Edition.” Sales from the cookbook will raise funds for Operation Holiday Heroes.

Hannah and Jackson, along with their older sister, Carly, have written a cookbook to raise money in support of our troops.  The book is called: “Special Delivery” and is available at and through  All proceeds of their “Support Our Troops Edition” go to Operation Holiday Heroes.  You can find out more about Dream of a Better World’s recent project efforts by scrolling through their blog at:

Jack and Carson click their heels
Button and Lofton “kick up their heels” as they carry in gifts to the Tripler Fisher House.

Fisher House Hawaii at Tripler is one of 58 locations worldwide supporting America’s military in their time of need.  Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 17,000 families, and have made available over four million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990.  Fisher Houses are funded by public donations and operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  No family pays to stay at any Fisher House.  You can donate to Tripler Fisher House on-line at or mail donations to: Tripler Fisher Houses, 317 Krukowski Rd., Honolulu, HI 96819.