‘We gotta help each other out’

KOLOA — Tim Busch, owner of the Koa Kea Hotel in Poipu, said Wednesday was his day at the St. Raphael’s Church in Koloa.

Busch and a team of associates from the Poipu hotel descended on the church to help pack supplies for the church’s outreach program on Saturday.

“We all gotta help each other out,” Busch said.

Koa Kea is one of 12 hotels in the Meritage Collection.

“We’re the only one in Hawaii that fall under the Pacific Hospitality Group,” Busch said. “Each year, each owner goes out to do some kind of community service like rescuing the homeless, or doing flowers for the dying. We don’t just tell people, we go out and do the work. Today is my day.”

Tina Brun, food pantry director for St. Raphael’s, said the church does several outreach programs, getting the food and other supplies to where homeless families are known to frequent.

“A group of us are meeting Saturday morning,” Brun said. “We have people going out to the Waimea River mouth where the Waimea and other Westside businesses have been telling people we’re coming. We also go to Salt Pond, and out to Lihue where there are a group of people who live out near the Ninini Point Lighthouse.”

Brun said for this outreach program, the church is planning on packing 52 individual bags, 31 big boxes geared for families of six people, or more, and 10 small boxes meant for three to five people.

“I didn’t know about the Salt Pond people,” Brun said. “I was visiting Joe’s grave and met one person who I asked, ‘Do you know where the homeless are?’ I brought back some food and he showed me the road where there was an encampment of people who needed the supplies.”

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