Slippers come ‘just in time’

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Erik Burkman, Kalaheo School principal, right, and Tami Riley, the school’s health aide, second from left, accept a load of slippers from the Hawaii Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, representing the Physical Therapy Day of Service Slippah Collection. From left are HAPTA’s Gregg Pacilio, Riley, Jai Pacilio, Jade Pacilio, Theresa Wiederoder and Burkman.

KALAHEO — Tami Riley, Kalaheo School health aide, said the slippers from the Hawaii Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association came at the right time Thursday.

“I’m down to just five pairs,” Riley said. “I had a good supply when school started, but it’s gone down to my last five pairs.”

The slipper delivery by Gregg Pacilio and Theresa Wiederoder, both HAPTA members, represented the Slippah Collection hosted by Kauai’s physical therapists as HAPTA’s Physical Therapy Day of Service.

Collection boxes were available at physical therapy locations islandwide for a two-week period ending last Friday. The collection was broken down to include slipper deliveries to as many schools as feasible. More than 100 pairs of slippers, including new and gently used, filled the boxes.

“I could feel the support for this effort,” Pacilio said. “People were bringing in slippers, some by the bagful, after hearing about what we were doing. I really want to thank the families of our physical therapists, their co-workers, and everyone who came in with slippers for our keiki.”

Riley said Kalaheo School received slippers from a slipper drive hosted by the Girl Scouts a few years ago.

“They haven’t done it since,” Riley said. “And we still can use slippers. I try to get the students to return them after they get a replacement pair, but you know how that goes.”

HAPTA is a nonprofit organization serving more than 300 member physical therapists.

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