LIHUE — Christmas may have come and gone, but The Salvation Army keeps getting gifts.
Tyler Navarro, a senior at Purdue University, was home for winter break and, accompanied by members of the Kiwanis International and the Kauai High School Key Club, dropped off a contribution of assorted items to Maj. Mario Reyes of The Salvation Army.
“We survived Christmas,” Reyes said. “Now, we have to put the pieces back for the New Year.”
Cheryl Shintani, president of the Kiwanis, said the tradition of giving was started by Navarro back when he was a member of the Kauai High School Key Club and tended to the Mayor’s Aloha Garden located across Hardy Street at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.
Navarro was so moved by the contribution of fresh produce from the garden, he added a contribution of fresh meat to supplement the Kokua Soup Kitchen during its holiday meals. Navarro’s contribution, bringing a load of 60 pounds of chicken, was supplemented by contributions from the Kiwanis.
“We have a check for $700 which represents one Kokua Soup Kitchen,” Kiwanis President Cheryl Shintani said. “Additionally, the Kiwanis members put together 60 gift bags for clients of the soup kitchen. These are toiletry and sundry items with some toys and some gifts for women. This is the Kiwanis’ ‘Tyler (Navarro) Day’ event for us.”
Topping off the contribution, Kauai High School Key Club members added in an assortment of canned goods and nonperishable food items to The Salvation Army pantry.
“This is perfect,” Reyes said. “We will be serving lunch on Thursday, New Year’s Day. These gifts will be a welcome addition for the clients.”
Tyler, who is majoring in electrical engineering, will graduate from Purdue in May.