Wednesday, May 25, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — A cheer went up among the Kaua‘i High School Key Club members when The Salvation Army Major Mario Reyes told the students to keep singing, Thursday.
The Key Club students were scheduled to do Red Kettle bell ringing at the Big Kmart, Times Big Save, Lihu‘e, and Long’s Drugs sites and Reyes said due to the efforts, especially the singing, of the Key Club, the Red Kettle collection is up more than 12 percent over last year.
“Red kettle collections are not just for the holidays,” Reyes said. “Part of it goes to support the Salvation Army Kokua Soup Kitchen program, part of it sends children to summer camp. The collections help the Salvation Army year-round.”
The bell ringing is just part of the support the Kaua‘i High School Key Club provides The Salvation Army.
Thursday, the students were joined by members of the Kiwanis International, the supervising service organization of the Key Club, in contributing more than 900 pounds of food to The Salvation Army, including some turkeys and chicken for the holidays.
Charlene Navarro, advisor for the Key Club, said this is the third year the student service organization is contributing to The Salvation Army, a tradition which was started when her son Tyler was a student at Kaua‘i High School and a member of the Key Club.
“He was helping at a Thanksgiving kitchen and there was a shortage of turkeys,” Charlene said. “He was moved by the plight and took the money he was saving for an iTouch and used it to buy turkeys for the hungry people.”
Charlene said the birds were being limited by Times Big Save, but when she explained the situation, the manager allowed Tyler to purchase as much as he needed.
“This was the start,” Charlene said. “Tyler also helped take care of The Mayor’s Garden where the produce from the garden is donated to The Salvation Army and the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.”
She said Tyler is now at Purdue and won’t be able to come home this Christmas.
“But he contacted Scott Nonaka and arranged to have the turkeys and chickens delivered,” Charlene said. “He’s paying the invoice of what is being delivered.”
Nonaka said the reason for the mix between turkeys and chicken is because the Kokua Kitchen can use chicken to prepare foods throughout the year.
“Last year, there was no room in the freezer for all the turkeys Tyler delivered,” Charlene said. “Eventually, Tyler’s goal is to be able to buy 60 turkeys to help with the Thanksgiving lunch. That comes when he gets a real job.”
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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