Mahelona thrift store open after closure

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Shoppers browse through the variety of items available at the newly re-dedicated Mahelona Hospital thrift shop, Monday morning.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Katy Matayoshi and Helga Efhan greet guests to the newly re-dedicated Mahelona Hospital thrift shop, Monday morning in the hospital’s patio walkway.

KAPAA — Katy Matayoshi and Helga Efhan of the Mahelona Hospital Auxiliary were thrilled beyond words at the thrift shop that greeted them Monday morning.

“We just wanted them to clean the floors,” Matayoshi said. “Instead, with the help of Lance Segawa, the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., Kauai region president and CEO, Joe Arruda and the Maintenance crew did more — new flooring, new ceiling fans, a new paint job, and additional space.”

The Mahelona Hospital thrift store re-opened its doors Monday following a short two-week closure when the work was done.

“It’s nice the Auxiliary volunteers got the extra space they can use to process material coming in,” said Wilma Chandler, a Mahelona volunteer. “This used to be the laundry. Now, it’s an area the volunteers can use to clean, sort, and price items going on sale in the thrift shop. They even have an area they can take a break.”

The Mahelona Hospital thrift store is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and manned by a staff of Auxiliary volunteers spearheaded by Matayoshi and Efhan.

“Helga spent the last two weeks decorating and organizing to get the shop ready for today,” Matayoshi said. “I’d like to send mahalo everyone who helped get the shop ready for this re-opening.”

Segawa said in addition to the proceeds of the shop benefiting the Auxiliary, the thrift store serves as a way of bringing the public and hospital together.

Funds generated by the Auxiliary through the sale of thrift store goods are used to supplement the hospital’s unbudgeted needs, including equipment, and programs the Mahelona Hospital offers. This includes events such as the annual beach outing by the residents, the bon dance, and other events. The Auxiliary also provides scholarships for high school seniors aspiring to a career in the medical field.

“They’re a small group, but provides such big support for the hospital,” Segawa said.

The Mahelona Hospital thrift store was opened in 1994 under the leadership of Mary Prosapio who had a vision to bring the public and the hospital together through the sale of donated items.

“After 24 years, we are fortunate to have a facelift,” Matayoshi said.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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