LIHUE — Kmart shoppers were greeted by a bevy of beauty queens who spent Saturday afternoon and evening manning the Salvation Army Red Kettle outside the store.
“The best gift you can give is your time,” said Nia Genegabuas, the Miss Mokihana Teen USA 2017. “I’m giving some of my time during this Christmas season to help the Salvation Army in raising funds that will benefit our community. One of the best parts of this bell ringing is that I get to do it with my friends.”
Kaytlen Akau is one of those friends. She dons the sash and crown of Miss Waialeale Teen USA. “When my mom and I heard that the Salvation Army was in need of volunteers, we called Lt. Elizabeth Gross at the Salvation Army,” Akau said.
“She directed us to their website at volunteer.usawest.org. All we had to do was go to the website, sign up to be a Red Kettle bell ringer and pick a shift. It was so easy that basically anyone with access to the Internet can do it.”
Akau said she is a strong believer and advocate of youth involvement in community service activities.
“For the past few years, I’ve been involved in many service activities that have allowed me to learn many new skills, such as what it means to step up as a leader, and how to work as a team,” she said. “I’ve learned to be more social and to communicate better after having met many new people and creating new friendships. I’ve also learned more about local causes that affect our island, state and beyond. But most of all, I’ve learned that you are never too young to make a positive difference in the world.”
Anna Broyles, the holder of Miss Garden Isle Teen USA 2017, said she was proud to be a party of a legacy that has been helping the Kauai community for a long time.
“By volunteering as a kettle bell ringer this holiday season, I want to raise awareness about how The Salvation Army affects our community,” Broyles said.