Westside theft hurts Army’s kettle collections

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Salvation Army’s Lt. Shawn Uilani Keoho of the Hanapepe Corps demonstrates how an individual used a paper bag to replace the red kettle and get funds from shoppers in Waimea.

HANAPEPE — The Salvation Army’s Lt. Shawn Uilani Keoho of the Hanapepe Corps said the funds stole Saturday could have been used to help children and the hungry.

“I’m so disappointed,” Keoho said. “We need a lot of help out here on the Westside, and the money which was taken could’ve been used to help someone with food or toys. I’m so upset because they basically stole from our church.”

Someone took the red kettle stand at a Waimea store, and using a paper bag where the kettle would go, collected funds from shoppers for about four hours, Keoho said.

“I just wanted people to know that The Salvation Army Red Kettle volunteers always have the kettle,” Keoho said. “They also have The Salvation Army apron and a badge identifying them as bell-ringers. If anyone sees people doing this, please report them.”

Keoho said she called the Kauai Police Department, which offered to have an officer come to get a report this week.

Keoho said The Salvation Army always has a need for volunteer bell-ringers, and people can contact the Hanapepe Corps at 335-0307 to sign up.

People in business can also have a kettle at their establishment.

The goal of this year’s Hanapepe Corps red kettle is $50,000, up from the $33,000 collected during last year’s campaign.

“These are monies used to help needy families,” Keoho said. “This year, we received requests from families on Niihau, and it is so hard to say ‘no’ to what they are asking for. We really need the community’s help.”

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