LIHU‘E — When Genora Woodruff heard the knock-knock-knock on her screen door, she jumped up.
Outside, Kaua‘i Police Department Capt. Kalani Ke and daughters Ualani and Anuhea presented her with a new cast iron skillet, table lamp and other goodies.
“You’re gonna be cooking,” neighbor Jan Thompson quipped. “And I’m gonna be bringing my fork and plate.”
Stepping back, the family wished them both a “Merry Christmas” and walked back to their sleigh carrying a dozen or so more wrapped gifts.
Thirty-two kupuna of Lihu‘e Gardens found gifts on their doorsteps Wednesday evening courtesy of the Kaua‘i Police Department and Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Kupuna filled out applications for the second annual Operation: Kupuna Stocking Project with their hopes and desires this Christmas, and every single wish was fulfilled said Johnette Chun, a secretary with KPD who organized the effort.
“Some of the gifts were like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know how we’re gonna do that,’” Chun said. “One lady wanted a vacuum, one guy wanted a kitchen cart. One lady just wished us a Merry Christmas.”
With the help of KPD and OPA, every box was checked off with the support of donations. Wednesday evening, five families delivered the gifts, sharing merry holiday cheer throughout the Gardens.
Families split off, hauling small wagons with gifts. Santa of the force Chief Todd Raybuck dressed the part, hat and all with wife Kelly and sons Kyle and Connor.
“Last year we used the police recruits, this year we’re using our keiki,” Raybuck said.
At the end of the delivery service, Raybuck thanked the crew and Chun.
“Jo’s the secret behind everything that’s successful,” Raybuck said. “As we give to the community through our service, I’m proud to be part of this organization.”
And that bagless vacuum Chun wasn’t sure they’d be able to get, went to Veronica Colobong and her spoiled rotten chihuahua, Daisy. But she didn’t find out until this morning when she unwrapped it, hopefully before reading the paper.
“I’m gonna save it,” Colobong said when she received her gift the night before Christmas Eve. “I’m gonna open it on Christmas and be surprised.”
Ms. Colobong, I hope I didn’t spoil the surprise.