Saturday, May 28, 2022 |
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KAPA‘A — Ellen Ching, director of the Easter Seals on Kaua‘i, said she almost fell out of her chair when Otsuka’s informed her of the amount the furniture store was going to present Easter Seals.
Otsuka’s stopped by the Easter Seals Kapa‘a facility with two checks — one for $800 and another for $4,700, representing a commitment made by Otsuka’s during its grand re-opening celebration Aug. 5.
“As part of our grand re-opening on Aug. 5, we ordered 200 lei and pledged to contribute 10 percent of the day’s sales to one of our community partners, Easter Seals Hawai‘i,” said Jessica Hulser, the new general manager of Otsuka’s furniture store in Kapa‘a.
Hulser said in addition to juggling the grand re-opening celebration, the hectic sales of furniture and simply greeting customers, there was so much activity going on during that single day, customers returned the following day to complete their paperwork and she took three days to recover from the excitement.
“This is a great beginning,” Hulser said. “This is the first in a series of quarterly events, and we’re already looking forward to working with the Easter Seals for our event coming up in November.”
Ching gathered the clients at the Kapa‘a facility to celebrate the gift from Otsuka’s, Tuesday morning.
“Everybody is carefully watching their budgets, and having the support of a company like Otsuka’s helps us continue what we do best — meeting the needs of our community,” Ching said. “What is especially fabulous about this event is the opportunity it provided to our participants to see the fruits of their labor while earning money. We just cannot thank Jessica and her team enough.”
During the grand re-opening celebration, Easter Seals participants and staff greeted customers with lei they created, their enthusiasm bubbling over from the steady stream of well-wishers and shoppers.
That enthusiasm overflowed, Tuesday as participants lost little time greeting Hulser with an overflowing of lei.
“This is good,” the Otsuka’s general manager said. “I graduated in New Jersey and they don’t get lei during graduations, there.”
Ching said the Easter Seals program on Kaua‘i takes care of about 200 participants from early childhood through adults and has a staff of about 67 people between the Lihu‘e and Kapa‘a centers.
Easter Seals meets the needs of Kaua‘i residents with developmental disabilities, delays or special needs and their families by providing programs and services which allow participants to flourish and live lives of self-determination, independence and dignity, states an Easter Seals release.
Evidence of the program were everywhere around the large gathering room where a proliferation of pictures, including those of participants and staff filled in where normally labels would suffice.
Ching said the pictures work because the participants can look at them and figure out what programs they signed up for as well as where things go when it’s time for clean up.
“We involve them in decision-making so they can become independent,” Ching said, noting the pictures for the programs participants sign up for indicate the individual’s commitment to a task, or program. “We are the only facility on Kaua‘i which provides a group setting for adults. We also have individual services where our staff goes to individual homes.”
“Although it may not seem like we have much in common, selecting Easter Seals Hawai‘i was an easy choice,” Hulser said. “They provide services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and we sell furniture. Where we meet is our shared values, for quality products and quality service.”
Easter Seals is one of the state’s oldest and most respected non-profit providers of early intervention services and has been providing services on Kaua‘i since 1972.
Through combined programs, Easter Seals Hawai‘i Early Intervention and Home and Community Based programs, serves 280 children and adults with disabilities and special needs.
Statewide, Easter Seals employs more than 500 people, operates 24 programs on five islands and provides more than 500,000 hours of direct service to individuals with disabilities and their families.
All funds raised by Easter Seals Hawai‘i stays in Hawai‘i with more than 90 cents of every dollar going directly to programs.
Otsuka’s, in Kapa‘a, is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. People can call 822-1405 for more information on the store and its programs.
Visit www.EasterSealsHawaii.org, or call 245-7141 for more information on Easter Seals.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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