Local Vets Can Dip Into Well Of Hope

Steve Murray
Wednesday - November 24, 2010
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A Kapolei nonprofit created to supply clean drinking water to impoverished areas in Ethiopia is turning its attention inward to help Oahu’s homeless veterans.

On Dec. 12, Well of Hope Foundation will serve a holiday dinner to some 200 veterans at the U.S. VETS transitional housing in Kalaeloa, the largest nonprofit provider of services to veterans facing challenges in their transition to civilian life.

The evening of dinner and entertainment was the brainchild of island entertainer Sonya Mendez, who came upon the idea after a trip to the Middle East where she and other Hawaii performers entertained U.S. servicemembers.

“I went to Iraq in May 2009 with a group of local entertainers, and we did six shows in a 10-day period and, oh my god, in all my years of being an entertainer, it was grueling. It was hard, and I really got to see firsthand what these kids are doing,” she said. “It was after my trip to Iraq that it really got to me.”

The dinner will have the usual holiday fare of roast turkey, ham, potatoes, rice, stuffing and steamed vegetables. Entertainment will be provided by slack key musician Paul Day, the duo Just Two Girls, which includes Mendez, and country line dancing demonstrations and lessons from West Oahu Line Dancers.

Well of Hope Foundation volunteers also are hoping to create holiday gift bags for the residents and are asking the community for help.

Needed items are toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, brushes, deodorant and razors.

Monetary donations to cover the cost of the food, or even food itself, also will be greatly appreciated. The group will even pick up the donations.

Those wishing to help can call Mendez at 228-4499 or e-mail her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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