Lions collect 300 pairs of slippers for foster children

LIHUE — Kauai’s newest Lions Club decided to step onto the scene in style last month by helping put community kids’ feet in some slippers.

The Kauai Lions Club, formed in February 2016, is the island’s newest club and brings the total to six Lions Clubs on Kauai.

In honor of May’s National Foster Care Month, the club launched their first slipper drive and collected more than 300 pairs for keiki from newborns to 18 year olds. They also gathered more than $1,000 in donations to buy more.

“I mean, how often does your kid lose their slippers?” asked president Muriah Moises. “Sometimes they walk out of McDonald’s and they’ve lost their slipper. It happens all the time.”

The idea for a slipper drive came up because Kauai Lions Club was looking for new ways to help the community, in addition to the traditional Lions events like vision screenings, feeding the hungry and working with youth.

In conversations with the people over at Hui Ho’omalu, Hale Opio, YWCA women’s shelter, and the KEO shelter, the club members realized slippers were in need.

“Especially now that we’re in the summer season, kids need slippers,” Moises said. “And we’re so excited for it, we’ve gotten a range of sizes and we’ll be able to deliver them once they’re organized.”

The plan is to split the footwear currently in stock between the community nonprofit organizations so all of them have a selection of sizes, styles and colors for the keiki.

“We’re still getting donations in, too,” Moises said.

Kauai Lions Club has its next board meeting on June 20, and Moises expects they’ll finish up sorting and organizing at the meeting. Then, club members will distribute the shoes.

The club put out the call in early May for donations and set a goal of 4,000 pairs. The collection lasted throughout May. Moises said the club is planning to make it an annual event.

Kauai Lions Club currently has 32 members and doesn’t have a geographical focus, though board members meet monthly at Kuhio Medical Center in Lihue. Membership meetings are usually event-focused and the atmosphere is laid-back.

Most of the members are in their 30s.

“We are really active online and we call our meetings once-a-month social gatherings,” Moises said. “We have potlucks and go to restaurants; we’ll have a beach day this summer.”

A lack of geographical focus allows the Kauai Lions Club to lend a hand with other Lions Club projects around the island, which Moises said she and other members enjoy being able to do.

In 2016, the club helped out with Surfrider projects, supported the Mayor-A-Thon, and participated in the March of Dimes Parade Ride.

“We offer our support to the other Lions Clubs and we get support from them,” Moises said. “We like to offer a lot of different opportunities so people can choose what they’re passionate about and get involved.”

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