An Express Commitment To Schools

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - March 15, 2006
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Dear Pamela,

I am a fourth-grade teacher at Kapunahala Elementary School in Kaneohe. I am writing to express my gratitude and mahalo to Borders Express at Windward Mall and to its many customers who so generously donated 27 textbooks to our fourth-grade students through Borders Express’s Wish List Program.

At the end of last school year, our school librarian, Ms. Jamie Umemoto, asked teachers to submit a wish list of books that we’d like for our students. Perhaps it’s our “local style” not wanting to ask for things, but I remember “holding back,” thinking that I really didn’t need anything. Then, on second thought, I remembered that my students had to share a social studies textbook, From Mountain to Sea. So I hesitantly wrote that title, requesting for multiple copies of the book so that my students wouldn’t have to share.

When Laurie Gomes called from Borders Express at Windward Mall saying that there were books for me to pick up, I figured even if I received a few books I would be so grateful. Much to my surprise, I was overwhelmed to receive enough books for my whole class - 27 brand new textbooks! In this day of budget cuts and monetary restraints, we were able to receive over $300 worth of donated books! Much mahalo to Borders Express, and especially to Laurie Gomes, for making all this possible.

My only regret is not being able to personally thank all the donors. Through APPLAUSE, I am hoping to reach each and every one of those anonymous donors (you know who you are): Thank you for your most thoughtful, generous and unconditional gift. Your kind, caring ways will never be forgotten, and these textbooks will be used for years to come. What a wonderful lesson I was able to share with my students about the true meaning of “giving from the heart.”

Mrs. A. Kido Kapunahala School A warm mahalo also from teachers Mrs. C. Tamashiro,

Mrs. C. Chang, Mrs. A. Akamine, Mrs. C. Matsuda,

Mrs. D. Hirata, Mrs. J. Uyeno and Mrs. L. Horita

Dear Teachers, Borders Express at Windward Mall is already planning for its 2006 campaign. “We want to make sure we’re able to respond to the needs of our schools,” says general manager Mike Bumgarner. “We’re going to send out letters to all our schools asking for their wish

lists. Laurie (Gomes) is the coordinator of the program. She gathers the lists, makes the order and really puts a lot of time into it.

“Our customers are great. When we ask them if they’d like to donate to their favorite school or teacher, 75-80 percent say yes. Some businesses donate a whole set of books for a classroom. The response has been overwhelming.”

(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 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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