On Saturday, May 19 I was fortunate to take part in a clean up of the Ka 'Ohu Hou O Manoa Transitional Housing Program. Now I have participated part in many clean-ups at the housing program, but this one was particularly special for me as it was my cousin Annie's last one before she headed off to college.
I have had the privilege (and some of the headaches haha) of assisting Annie since the summer of 2009, when she first began as a burgeoning sophomore to organize weekly volunteering at the housing program and with subsequent quarterly clean-ups. Needless to say it has been inspiring to see Annie begin with a personal commitment of once a week volunteering at the housing program and see it grow with each week. She began to recruit classmates and interested adult chaperones, which led to the formation of a Live Aloha Club at 'Iolani, where she attended high school. Annie rarely missed a week and what is the most obvious indicator of this are the relationships she formed with the mothers and their children.
It was thus a little bittersweet to hear that this one would be her last, but I was heartened to hear that her efforts would be continued by another 'Iolani student, Erin. And and after seeing Erin carry out introductions I instantly knew the aloha that Annie started would be continued after she graduated. Needless to say the day went off without a hitch -- the roofs were cleaned, gardens weeded, play areas swept, arts and crafts entertained the kids, lunch was enjoyed by all -- and we all truly lived aloha for at least a morning in May.
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