LIHUE — The sense of wonderment and fascination silenced Wolf Cub Scout Cheyne Carillo Thursday afternoon at Mana‘olani, the Kauai Economic Opportunity homeless emergency shelter.
Carillo quietly stood in the reassuring shadows of Weblo Scouts Kamekona Thompson and Isaiah Thomas while his fellow Wolf Cub Ian Thomas and Tiger Cub Kohlton Sanchez frolicked on the stairs leading to the shelter, stopping to examine a bicycle leaning against the wall.
“This was Cheyne’s idea,” said Roxanne Thompson, Kamekona’s mother and one of the chaperones of the group. “He said he wanted to do something to help the homeless.”
In a way, they blessed them.
The Blessing Bag the youngsters distributed contained essential items such as toothbrush, tooth paste, mouthwash, soap, shampoo and other toiletries assembed by 22 scouts from the Weblos and Wolf pack and their parents of Cub Pack 148.
“We had a goal of making 50 Blessing Bags,” a parent said. “With the help of many hands and everyone having fun packing, we did it!”
But the sight of the emergency homeless shelter left people speechless.
“I never knew a place like this existed,” another parent said. “But it’s good to know that there is a place people can come to while they struggle. You can work hard and still not have enough to pay the rent.”
William Cooper, a programs coordinator for KEO, said it is the aim of Kauai Economic Opportunity to help people get back on their feet.
“We really appreciate what these Cub Scouts have done,” Cooper said. “This is Mana‘olana, the KEO homeless emergency shelter where we try to help people help themselves. Sometimes, we need help, too, so we are really grateful for what you Cub Scouts have done.”
In the excitement of moving the Blessing Bags to recepticles for distribution, the little Wolf Cub was in the midst of the hands and happy chatter.
“I was just thinking about the homeless,” Carillo said in a soft voice. “I just asked the other Cub Scouts in the pack if they would help me.”
Ariola-Moku said the Cub Scouts are no strangers to helping those in need, having helped at the St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church food pantry program.
“The boys were helping pack carry items to cars and just being helpful,” she said. “They even asked if we could come back and help, again.”
She said she wished there was a project they could do as a complete troop — that way, they could do more.
Cammy Ariola-Moku said they wanted a service project where all members of Boy Scout Troop 148, sponsored by the Lihue Christian Church, could be involved.
“This service project is for one of the requirements for his Council Fire belt loop and pin,” Roxanne said. “But there were a lot of hands who came forward to help Cheyne. Everything in the 50 Blessing Bag was donated.”