The gift giver

LIHUE — For one 9-year-old girl “changing the world, one act of kindness at a time,” was about putting the spirit of giving before herself.

Kadee Parubrub, a fourth-grader at Wilcox Elementary School, was inspired by her time on the student council last year. And when the “Attitude for Gratitude” movement was presented as a way to recognize people who are not often appreciated for their hard work, she decided to follow up on the concept as much as she could.

“It all started with the school project,” Kadee said. “I like to see people smile.”

Wanting to do something more, Kadee turned to her parents, William and Sherri Parubrub of Lihue, and they talked about how fortunate she and her 3-year-old sister have been. Kadee got on board with the idea of forgoing her ninth birthday on Oct. 27 and using that money instead to donate to charity.

Extended family chipped in, but even they didn’t expect the “Nine Random Acts of Kindness” project to become so big. In less than two months, Kadee raised enough money to donate to several charities.

The first gift was 20 backpacks to the Backpack Brigade program; then blankets to the Care Home Hale Kupuna Heritage Home in Omao; 353 pounds of canned food to Kauai Food Bank; sports balls, cleaning and school supplies to the Boys & Girls Club of Lihue; snack packs to officers of the Kauai Police Department; roses to random people; Starbucks gift cards to teachers at Wilcox Elementary; someone’s groceries; and unused items to the thrift shop at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

“There isn’t a dollar amount and the family donated a lot of the money and canned goods,” Sherri said.

Wilcox Elementary School followed through a couple of weeks ago when the entire student body was encouraged to create their own acts of kindness ideas.

Kadee attended the Kauai Visitor Bureau luncheon where they suddenly played a video that portrayed her monthlong giving spree in action. The 185 guests in attendance applauded as KVB President Sue Kanoho called Kadee and her parents to the stage.

Kadee was speechless.

“I was shocked,” Kadee said. “They told me I had to come for a meeting.”

“I had no idea what was happening,” Sherri said. “We were all caught up in this moment.”

Denise Wardlow, general manager of The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, presented Kadee with a gift certificate for her family to stay for two nights.

Ronnie Grover of Kauai Sea Tours presented Kadee with a certificate for four snorkel tours.

“The love and generosity of the county in response was amazing,” Sherri said.

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