A Sunday School Project For Darfur

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - June 04, 2008
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Hi Pamela,

Forest Leonard, one of my students in our eighth-grade Sunday School class at Temple Emanuel, introduced us to a project: Dolls for Darfur. Our Rabbi, Peter Schaktman, told Forest about this project, and he and his mother put this together. The pins were assembled by the children and sold while information on Darfur was passed out. The primary purpose is not money, but to raise awareness about what is fast becoming a holocaust in Darfur. As children of the Jewish people, some of whom had family members killed in the Holocaust of WWII, our students feel a deep sense of empathy with the people of Darfur and wish to do what they can to help stop this genocide. There is a very important precept in Judaism called Tikkun Olam, which means repairing the world. The students hope that keeping this tragedy in the forefront of the world’s consciousness will help to, in some way, fix the world and perhaps help to right this wrong.

Helene Mann
Temple Emanu-el

Dear Helene,

Forest and the entire eighth-grade Sunday School class should be proud of their efforts to bring this crisis to public attention. “The dolls are fashioned after Guatemalan worry dolls,” says Nalani Leonard, Forest’s mom. “The children put them under their pillows and the dolls take their worries away. In the same spirit, we hope the children of Darfur will feel our aloha with our little donation. The students sold the dolls for $5 each and made about $250, which will go to the Save Darfur Coalition and the International Rescue Committee. Part of Forest’s bar mitzvah was to choose two charitable projects to work on. He chose Dolls for Darfur, in consultation with our Rabbi. My husband (Raymond) and I are very proud of him.”

Dear Pamela:

I would like to give a big MAHALO to Dean Lum. He found my mother’s bus pass wallet in Nuuanu. Not only did he personally deliver it to me, but he refused a reward of any kind. As he left, he only said, “Wish your mother a Happy Mother’s Day.” I would also like to wish his mother a great Mother’s Day and also congratulations on raising such a fine and considerate gentleman.

Alvin Uchimura

Dear Alvin,

Dean Lum says he was in the right place at the right time. “I was walking to my car to go to work and I saw this wallet on the ground,” he says. “I called a bunch of phone numbers and finally got a hold of Alvin at his office. It was no problem to drop it off on my way to work.” By the way, Dean spent Mother’s Day playing music at the Hawaii Prince Hotel. He and music partner Dean Shimabukuro (formerly the original Na Kolohe) are regulars at Chart House as the duo Dean and Dean.

Dear Pamela,

I was on my way to the airport when my car blew a tire on the busy H3. As I was getting out the tools, Jeff Kirby had the heart to stop and take the time to change the tire for me. He finished in 10 minutes what would have taken me an hour to do. His kindness saved my day and I will always remember his good deed. Mahalo, Jeff. The world is a better place with you around.

Gayle Chun

Dear Gayle,

Jeff Kirby of the Bedrock Company thanks you for dropping by his house with a basket of goodies. “It’s not easy to stop on that freeway, especially with all the traffic, so cars were whizzing by,” he says. “When I see somebody stranded, I try to lend a hand. It’s a Bible-based decision. We need to look out for each other.”

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail pyoung@kitv.com. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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