Ken And Alice Chun
Ken and Alice Chun have been volunteering longer than many folks have been alive, and for that, this couple is the epitome of a Good Neighbor.
Ken, 90, began working with Hawaii Meals on Wheels when the organization was founded in 1979. Now in his 32nd year with the nonprofit, Ken continues to deliver hot meals to homebound seniors on an almost weekly basis. He even has come to the aid of individuals in distress along his delivery route, alerting authorities when the clients did not answer their doors.
“Many times it’s not a happy situation, so to speak, when you go to visit these clients,” Ken says. “They’re not mentally handicapped, but physically handicapped - most don’t drive or cannot go out to shop and prepare themselves a meal. I benefit by feeling that satisfaction that I was able to help them.”
It seems that the couple that volunteers together, stays together. Ken and Alice met while attending Farrington High School and have been together for 68 years.
“And we’re still talking to each other!” chimes in Alice, 89, who also serves meals through HMoW, and puts her own cooking and homemaking skills to work as a volunteer at Manoa Valley Church.
Together the Chuns have put in thousands of volunteer hours with Hospice Hawaii, where they help with bulk mailing projects; Kuakini Hospital, where they sort supplies and make bibs for the rehab department; and Kamehameha Schools, Mid-Pacific Institute, Iolani and Punahou, where over the years they have made haku lei for the schools’ respective ho’olaulea and carnivals. As if that weren’t enough, Ken also serves as a Senior Club registrar at Makiki District Park, where he teaches children how to make haku lei.
“You have to have free time to be able to volunteer,” says Ken, who is retired from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. “I feel great that we can actually be able to do these things.
“People are surprised that we’re still volunteering,” he adds with a laugh. “We’re not couch potatoes so to speak. We gotta keep on moving.”
“But thank God for that,” adds Alice.
And thank you, Ken and Alice Chun.
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