Keeping Case Workers On The Road

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - November 30, 2005
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Dear Pamela,
Here at Susannah Wesley Community Center we have an adult mental health program for immigrants that requires our case managers to use their personal cars to make home visits, transport clients to the doctor’s office and run errands for them. Because of the nature of their jobs, case managers drive to all parts of Oahu incurring a substantial gas bill. Although they are reimbursed for mileage, it is at a low rate that was established in January of this year, well before the current gas crisis. As a result, the additional cost has impacted their pocketbooks.

We contacted Aloha Petroleum and spoke with executive assistant Joan Ellis, who was kind enough to listen to our concerns. Thanks to Joan and Mr. Bob Maynard, we were able to obtain gas coupons to help subsidize the case managers’ out-of-pocket cost. They came through for us and we were able to continue our services. This is one example of how big business can help little agencies but go unnoticed. We are very thankful for their generosity and kindness.

Nelson Yuen
S. Wesley Community Center

Dear Nelson,
“It was gratifying to learn our donation of gasoline for SWCC case-worker vehicles was helpful in allowing Nelson and his staff to continue their important work,” says Joan Ellis of Aloha Petroleum. “Our roots in Hawaii date back almost a century, and contributing to our community however and whenever possible is an important part of who we are.”

Joan points out that Aloha Petroleum also provides fuel to two other community-based organizations: Aloha Harvest and Castle Medical Center’s Wellness on Wheels.

Dear Pamela,
Nohea Chang (MidWeek, Sept. 28, 2005) is not the only one who has experienced frustrating communications problems with the Social Security Administration.

I was given the runaround by both phone technology and human indifference for 1 1/2 months. I was even hung up on after 15 minutes of being assured and reassured that calls were being taken in the order they came in and to stay on the line.

I finally got “Cookie” on the phone. She made sure that all my papers were in order and with her supervisor’s help got me on Medicare Plan B. She even called back a few days later to make sure that I had received all the necessary paperwork.

“Cookie’s” work ethic, attitude and determination must certainly be applauded and will ensure her success.

Mervyn Chang

“I feel so blessed,” says teller/service representative Cuqui Torres. “I feel great that I’m able to help people, especially older people who have difficulty getting through on the phone or understanding what’s needed to fill out their papers. I’m honored to help them.”

Dear Pamela,
Please recognize and give APPLAUSE to a gentleman who regularly stops at the Pali Highway townbound scenic lookout area (overlooking Nuuanu Memorial Park and Pagoda) to pick up all the trash strewn by inconsiderate people. I have seen this individual on my daily commute between 7 and 8 a.m. to town from Kailua. Rain or shine, he arrives on his bicycle, dressed for the office, equipped with plastic bags that he fills with trash. He deserves our thanks for being a fine example of a thoughtful, caring member of our community.

B.J. Taum

Dear B.J.,
After months of driving the route in the morning we are still unable to track this Good Samaritan. Let’s give him a round of APPLAUSE anyway and be mindful of his bicycle as he makes our drive more pleasant every day.

(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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