LIHU‘E — Thankfulness and appreciation of their jobs was the catalyst for the help and outpouring of holiday spirit from the Department of Water, Thursday.
Employees of the department contributed toys, clothing and an assortment of gifts to help Child and Family Services fill its wish list that numbers about 250 requests, said Maile Carvalho of CFS.
“We are truly appreciative of the jobs we have,” said Faith Shiramizu, the DOW communications officer. “We want to share what we have so others can have a brighter holiday season. This is a way our DOW employees give back and help the community.”
Armed with requests from the CFS, the Department of Water employees set out to fill those requests and Carvalho and Lehua Cristobal stopped by during lunch hour to pick up the gifts.
“At least half of these are for children,” Shiramizu said. “The other half will help families.”
Shiramizu said they asked the department in what ways they could help the community and the providing of gifts for CFS was one suggestion. Another was to cook meals for homeless people. That will be put into action next week when the DOW employees prepare meals for the Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity program.
“With the economic situation, we’re seeing a lot of new requests and things being requested that have never been asked for before,” Carvalho said.
Among those items, food is something new that’s being requested this year.
“Food, gas cards, infant care items like diapers and formula, and bus passes are all new items being requested,” Carvalho said. “The need is definitely greater this year.”
Carvalho said the requests are brought in by the CFS “line workers” who know the clients best. Each worker selects up to five families.
Carvalho said starting next Tuesday, the contributions will be wrapped by members of The Guild.
“A family’s delivery will not be done unless all of the requests for that family are filled,” Carvalho said. “We’ll find a way to make sure that all of a family’s needs are addressed before the delivery goes out.”
She added that contributions need not be new items.
“We can always use donations,” Carvalho said. “Nana’s House in Waimea and Hale Ho‘omalu in Kapa‘a are food pantries that have clothing closets where people can go to find something.”