Each evening as the sun disappeared beyond the horizon, this family found various ways to share the evening in darkness. Often, food is a sought after item in the darkness, therefore all preparation had to be made during the daylight hours. Hot meals are often rare, as preparation without electricity involves settling for canned, dry goods, or for the youngest family members, someone who could cook with the propane stove. A life seemingly for the roughest of individuals, more often the lifestyle of children ages toddler to middle school.
This family had adjusted quite well to living in the powerless house. Until, members from the Waimanalo and Kailua communities learned of their living choices. Through project “Giving Tree”, Cozy Christmas, the Castle Medical Center Outreach Ministries, the Clergy Coalition of Waimanalo, the Kailua Adventist Church, and an anonymous donor from the Waimanalo business community, this family experienced a Christmas like never before.
Sounds of Joy emanated from the darkened area’s of this home, as three trucks unloaded gifts for everyone in this family of 29. This was on December 23rd. By December 27, a generator was delivered to this family, as they all gathered around to give thanks for this bounty at Christmas. The anonymous donor simply said “I read the post about this family and said to myself, I have a generator!”. It was that day that Ho’olu’a received a call to meet with this donor and we learned of this generous gift.
Now you can hear the sounds of the families washer, see the glimmer of isolated lights in a once darkened and foreboding home. One occupant was seen setting up the generator at the community luncheon on News Years Eve, to power lights and music for their give-back project.
The gift of light. Whether by generator or the thankful kindness in the beat of a heart, we pray that one day entire cities and the world will be powered by the lovingly renewable resources of Love, Forgiveness and Compassion. Amen
The gentle giant of a young native Hawaiian man, in his mid twenties, stood over me and said quietly “I don’t go to church, but I believe in Akua and I know that I carry his church in my heart”. “I just know that I want to work at giving back to the community that has been kind and giving to my family for so many years”. I am worried about our children and want to help make this place better for them”. Can I help? If I come my boys will come too? (referring to a group of young men gathered in the shadows of the garage of a two story dwelling, that was in need of repair.
It is this home that has been without electricity for over a year, that is the living and gathering place for many close, distant, extended and hanai members, of a not so unusual Hawaiian Homestead ‘Ohana survival plan. The average age of the near 30 occupants of this home is 22! Clearly this can be the beginning of a research project, into the why, of such a gathering of our young, who are making ends meet with the tools and skills that they have learned to live by….
The ages may vary, the cultures and histories will differ and their family size may change, but the realization is that this situation exists in every community, and not just in the Hawaiian community. It is sad however, when such conditions prevail in a culture that is so rich in land based assets, unabated. Oh, I’ve heard the rebuttal to this condition, in terms of, why don’t they just stand up and get to work! Work! the solution to the social ills of a beautiful people and culture, who once thrived, without the dismantling and disabling forces of civilization.
The family has allowed us to post photo’s of their initial effort to give to this community, in a way that is meaningful and Hawaiian. This event took place on December 31, 2013 (New Years Eve) in Waimanalo Beach Park. This family served approximately 70 individuals between 11:am and 3:pm.. An event that mirrored the efforts of so many churches and non-profit groups who are constantly delivering hot food to this special community. Yes, they have made an effort to give back and would like to continue this work. To the 29, we offer our prayers and support……Great Work!
Fr. Scott Bush, of St. Georges Church Waimanalo getting some last minute instructions from the angels, as he oversees ‘Feeding The Hungry’ project out of his Parrish. Many came to receive gifts and share a meal, But this interaction with angels surely got everyone’s attention. We were blessed to be part of this very special angelic occasion. To all the families and friends of St. George’s, with a special mahalo to Aunty Blanche McMillan and her team. Mahalo nui loa kakou….a me Hauoli Makahiki Hou 2014
A week ago we received, in our community enough food to feed the multitudes, and the multitudes we fed during our regular outreach projects, which included Hali’i Kalikimaka 2013. A new found alliance in food distribution, will be a lasting blessing for our entire community. We are blessed to have been involved in project planning, that will allow us to deliver food to the communities of families, who struggle to put food on their tables daily, in spite of being employed. We are prayerful that this collective effort to stave off hunger in families with children and Kupuna living under the same roof, are here to stay.
Does this sound familiar? Dad has a full time job, Mom has two part-time jobs, and they have four children ages 4 to 12 yrs. The rent is paid, the electricity is paid, the water is paid and the car gas tank is filled every week. But, not so the tummies of their 4 children, who don’t qualify for free or reduced lunch, but must often settle for less or very little, on their dining table, or in their lunch bags.
We need to reach deeper into our communities, to reduce the hunger pains with our Keiki and Kupuna. Please join our ‘Ohana in this effort to end hunger together.
As the result of the work of many, work has begun with the creation of a new Waimanalo Po’e Logo, that we hope one day will represent the thoughts and deeds of the many. The logo shown at left best describes the numerous mana’o of the name Waimanalo. Knowing that it has a meaning of “Potable Water”, we are also aware that it has a much deeper meaning, which is that of “Hidden waters”. It is from this mana’o that this logo was designed. As Ho’olu’a endeavors to reach out to all of our community, with plans to support engagement at all levels, we will use this deeper meaning and logo, to mark the work that has been planned or accomplished. Please join us, the Po’e as we build into this deeper meaning of Waimanalo. As depicted in this logo, we have included the mountains, which provide the Wai, through the hidden streams, that lead to the Kai. As these hidden streams reach the Kahakai, we can understand the deeper and profound richness that our waters provide to its people, as it secretly and hidden from site, works its way to the shore.
As a child growing up in Waimanalo, I remember fishing and diving along the Kahakai, and when thirsty, I could find one of these hidden and icy cold springs, on the ocean floor. I could dive down to this spring and refresh myself with fresh mountain spring water.
Mahalo to the Public Relations firm of Lagrange and Associates for helping finalize this logo, and helping with the branding efforts associated with this new look. You will begin to see this emblem on many of the projects associated with Ho’olu’a and its partners. Please understand that this logo does not represent any organization, but more the people and thoughts of this community.
On December 20, 2013 we re-lived Hali’i Kalikimaka for the 5th straight year, and its experience did not disappoint. The sound of children’s laughter and joy filled the evening air, along with the sounds of excitement, as families took home prize after prize, during the Bingo Tournament and Treasure hunt give-away’s. If you stole away to the school library, you discovered yet another layer of excitement, that brought tears t your eyes. That was the sound of children once again, meeting and receiving from Papa and Mama Kalikimaka. Of course there was also the anxious activity of children diving through the Christmas tree size mound of stuffed animals, as they found their favorite, to take home with them.
Quietly, sequestered in the rear of the library you found a group of Kupuna, waiting their turn at having their history recorded, in digital format, as part of a new and developing project to create a historical library of Kupuna stories, that will be accessible to our students and community. We are grateful to the Habilitat Production Company for offering their production services to preserve this legacy for and within our community.
We are hopeful that this information will be available for viewing access by students and community in the near future. We will work with our school to determine how this will best happen.