Love for Kilauea’s ‘lavender lady’

KILAUEA — When Lori Hayes and Ron Payne learned that Kilauea resident Donna Schulze needed her house repainted, the North Shore Christian Church members jumped at the chance to help the town’s own “lavender lady.”

“That’s what the Lord tells us to do, is to help each other, and I think it’s great because she has given so much to the community, and we could never give back to her what she’s done for everyone,” Hayes said.

Schulze has been helping the community since she moved to Kauai in 1972. She will be 91 in two weeks.

Her home is difficult to miss, due to its bright lavender and pink hues. On Saturday, a dozen church members, in addition to Payne and Hayes, helped restore the property’s colorful glow.

“It really makes a big difference in knowing that God has given everybody a purpose in life, and one of our purposes it to help other people and to encourage people, and this is a very practical way to show God’s love,” Payne said.

With brushes and spray paint, the church members worked tirelessly to redecorate the house’s walls, latices and trimmings in addition to clearing a few weeds away from the property.

And although painting a house may seem like work, that certainly wasn’t the case for church members such as Josh Gobel, who enjoyed the experience.

“It’s cool, it’s nice to be able to help people out in the church and just elders, widows, it’s cool to be able to help out,” the young painter said. “It’s what we’re called to do in the Bible and it’s exactly what we’re supposed to be doing. It says that we’re called to good works, we’re saved for good works, not just saved from sin, we’re saved to do good things also.”

Schulze served the crew a hearty breakfast of cinnamon rolls, eggs and papaya before they began their work at 9 a.m. They finished at noon.

As Schulze watched her friends replace the aging color on her house, the Kilauea resident said she couldn’t be more grateful.

“This is amazing. They’re all like angels,” Schulze said. “People do so much for me. I think it’s unbelievable. There’s a lot of people here that need help. I’m not the only woman who has things like this. There are a lot of people out in the world just like me.”

Being a volunteer herself, Schulze has contributed to the community time and time again through her work as the secretary of the board for the YMCA, her work at the Red Cross of Hawaii and through her work in family court where she worked for 20 years taking care of children.

“Anything I’ve been asked to do, I just do it,” Schulze said. “It just works out.”

It was due to that giving spirit that community members were more than happy to return the favor, and help Schulze when she asked.

“No matter where you go, you say ‘lavender lady’ — the teller, the grocery store, the post office — they all know Donna because she’s affected their lives in a positive way,” Hayes said.

“We love to serve God and other people,” Payne added. “God has called believers to be servants and we look for ways to serve other people who have needs so when we finish painting Donna’s house we’ll be looking for other people to serve.”

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