1,000 pairs of slippers by Saturday? Sure!

Spare slippers by Saturday is the goal of Godwin Esaki, a Kapa‘a banana farmer and instructor of aikido.

“When we suffered from Hurricane Iniki, we had broken houses,” Esaki said. “These people in Sendai, Japan, don’t have anything — the waves washed everything away.”

Esaki said because of the immediate need for slippers, he coordinated “Locals 4 Sendai,” the “locals” being a slipper brand known widely throughout Hawai‘i and parts of the Mainland and readily available at most retail outlets.

Sendai is one of the areas’ severely affected by the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan earlier this year.

“The devastation and lives lost is unbelievable,” Esaki said in an email. “Rebuilding the area will take a very lengthy period of time. They need help, now.”

Esaki would like to see at least 1,000 pairs of slippers — sizes do not matter — gathered by this weekend.

Members of the Kapa‘a High School Student Council, the Kapa‘a High School Girls Junior Varsity soccer team, the Lihu‘e Aikido Club and Kaua‘i Soccer Club have volunteered to man bins placed at the All Saints Church and at the Lihu‘e Hongwanji bon dance.

The bins at the All Saints Church in Kapa‘a will be accessible from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

People may also drop off slippers at the Lihu‘e Hongwanji bon dance from 9 a.m. until the bon dance ends, Saturday night, Esaki said.

“This goal of 1,000 pairs of slippers is not impossible,” Esaki said. “Everyone has an extra pair or two at home. Preferably, we’d like new slippers.”

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

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