Key Clubbers learn by helping less fortunate

LIHU‘E n “It just happens to be Mother’s Day, too,” said Cecilia Perreira, about the upcoming weekend, when meals will be served to those who need a hot meal for free.

Perreira is the the Salvation Army’s Kokua Kitchen director. She supplied refreshments for a group of students Wednesday who converged at the dining facility to do the monthly decorations .

The students were members of the Kapa‘a High School Key Club.

Kelsie Tone, vice president of the Kapa‘a High School Key Club, as well as one of the members on the Engaging Youth, Serving Community 4-H team said, “This is the second time the Key Club is doing this. We try to get a youth organization to do the monthly decorations so that the program can continue.”

Tone said the first time the Key Club got involved was at Christmas, and club members even got to help serve the clients.

Laura Kawamura, the 4-H advisor, said they are always looking for more youth groups to help decorate the Kokua Kitchens.

The Kokua Kitchens serve meals to any and all who want them, for free.

Last month, to coincide with Easter, as well as the first meal served at the Salvation Army Hanapepe Corps’ Kokua Kitchen, members of the Kalaheo School A-Plus under the direction of teacher Barbara Bloemke did the honors for both the Lihu‘e and Hanapepe locations.

Kawamura said that the Sunday School group from the Lihu‘e Christian Church was contemplating doing the decorations for one of the upcoming summer months.

“It’s good that students do this,” Perreira said as she watched the students dive into separating clusters of silk flowers to be used for arrangements. “If they do this when they’re young, they’re going to continue to do this when they grow up.”

There are two locations for the Kokua Kitchen program, and youth groups are welcome to contribute their talents to help make the dining facility a little more home-like.

The Lihu‘e Corps location serves dinner on Tuesday evenings, and lunches on Thursday. The Hanapepe Corps serves dinner on Monday evenings.

Currently, Perreira said, they serve about 50 meals at each sitting. She added that she heard that the Hanapepe Corps’ program served up to 70 meals during one week.

In addition to the Kokua Kitchen program, Perreira said members of the Lihu‘e Lutheran Church provide food for the mobile program that she and some helpers then take to locations where homeless people frequent.

Members who took part in the decorations that will make Mother’s Day a little more special for those in need include Key Club president Heather Kubota, Tone, Michelle Sone, Noah Imai, Marie Joy Agacid, Travis Wakayama, and Victor Rundbaken.

For more information on how students and youth organizations can become involved in making a difference for Kaua‘i’s needy, representatives can contact Kawamura at 274-3473.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com

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