Providing Shelter From The Storm
Wednesday - May 03, 2006
Last month our athletic club bused more than 60 children from our basketball program to La’ie for our annual basketball season camp and banquet. After two days of beautiful weather, we were awakened early Sunday morning with winds and rain that most of the Windward side has become accustomed to lately. In an effort to get our kids out of the rain and secure our campsite, we dropped off our kids with some adults at the Hauula Kai Shopping Center to get them out of the rain.
Luckily for us, the Windward side of the island is full of loving people who welcomed our kids and opened their shops and hearts and showed our kids hospitality. The wonderful people at the Ko’olau Business Center opened up their office so that our kids wouldn’t have to wait in the rain. Papa Ole’s restaurant helped feed our kids, giving them noodle cups and sandwiches, and juice boxes from Tamura’s, which kept our kids smiling and happy even through the rain. Later, the Brigham Young University at Hawaii Student Association, through former president Uiti Siaosi, his fellow officers helped provide our kids hot showers, warm dry clothes, blankets and lots of great food. They also showed a movie for our kids to keep their minds off the idea that we would be stranded for the night. Then, the American Red Cross set up a shelter at the old gym on the BYU campus and fed our kids once again.
More than anything, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the wonderful people who helped our kids. Though the roads were closed, the hearts of these people in Hauula and Laie who braved the rain, gave their own things to help our kids who were far from home with just their teammates and coaches, will never be forgotten. This was our sixth camp and banquet, and we are already planning for next year. Once again, we would like to thank all of the people who volunteered and helped our entire club. Our kids, though far from home, loved their experience, and some didn’t want to leave!
We know that the members of these communities have endured the rain and wind and storms for many weeks now, and yet they rushed to aid our young children, and all of our adults as well. If anyone is deserving of recognition, I know it is all of the wonderful people who helped us.
Faatea S. Faatea
Kahuku Village Association President
Napua Baker, BYUH VP for University Advancement, says the district wards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pitched in to make sure the kids were fed and sheltered. “Wilfred Navalta, president of the Laie Hawaii North State Ward, came on campus when it was clear that the roads would be closed because of the rain,” she says. “Michael Bliss, our VP of administrative services, made sure our Seaside Cafeteria was available to them. So many people came to help.”
“It was amazing,” says Ivy Kahalepuna, administrative assistant to the president. “I was there when we realized the kids would be stranded. Everyone asked, ‘What can we do? Can I bring food? Can I bring clothes? My husband set up the video so the kids would have something to watch. It was a good experience for us, too, because when you give to someone else you don’t think about your own problems. Everyone pulled together.”
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