Hawaii residents don’t always have adequate food, clothes, school supplies, or even blood. In December, senior and junior leadership classes, and National Honor Society worked with the faculty and student body to collect donations for those in need, locally.
Junior leadership hosted a food drive collecting close to 500 pounds of canned and boxed foods for the Hawaii Foodbank.
Two heavy donations were made, one before Thanksgiving and the other, right before Winter Break. “We hit 232 lbs [in the second drop off]. We were just short. We had 242 last time, so our total is 474 pounds of food donated,” class leadership adviser Christine Bette said, in an email to the faculty. “It is still awesome and I’m proud of all the effort put in by everyone who helped, donated, and supported the cause.”
Jamba Juice gift cards were raffled to individuals who donated the most items per advisory class.
“Gino Dayton was one of the winners and it just happened to be that he donated the most items,” Bette said. “Brittany Kelly from Garvin Tsuji’s advisory won the second gift card.”
Maria Oka’s advisory class donated the most, with 80 items in total to pull ahead of Lane Yokoyama’s class that donated 61 items. Junior leadership will host an ice cream party for Oka’s class this quarter.
“One [student] brought a whole box of Vienna sausage (18 cans)…When he found out we’re in second place…he said he’d bring in one more box,” Oka wrote in an email. “In the beginning, I did tell them I’d bring some in, if they did first.”
According to the Hawaii Foodbank website, “In Hawaii, 1 in 7 people struggle with hunger.” The organization provides the community with the option of volunteering, money and food donation, or collecting food from others. This non-profit agency collects, warehouses and distributes foods for a 200-member food bank. It provides food assistance to more than 123,000 households through donations, according to their website.
National Honor Society coordinated a school supply and book drive to benefit children staying at the Institute of Human Services.
“The NHS wanted to coordinate a meaningful drive that raises the awareness of the needs and restoring the dignity of the homeless, specifically, homeless children,” NHS adviser Beverly Vallejo-Sanderson said.
Vallejo-Sanderson said that part of their car wash fundraising go towards helping the community, which enabled their chapter to provide each advisory class with a child’s backpack to fill up.
Sixty-six backpacks were collected and delivered to IHS over the holiday break. “Most had something inside — some more than others,” Vallejo-Sanderson said. “There were a lot of pens and pencils, tablets, clipboards, journals, notepads, pencil cases and children’s books.”
Troy Freitas’ advisory class donated the most items.
IHS has two facilities (men’s, and women and children’s) that run all year round, and works 24/7 to serve over 5,000 individuals, including 516 households. They also provide 728 hot meals a day, and allow children at its facility to have a safe place to do homework. Since it is a private, non-profit organization, it depends on donations from the community to help these staying at the shelters.
“The classes that do contribute, it’s really nice,” Brianna Bransfield (11) said.
January is National Blood Donor month, and with it senior leadership class scheduled its second drive on Jan. 23 with the Blood Bank of Hawaii.
Senior class President Patricia Ongcangco said that the Jan. 23 blood drive brought in 52 donors, even after many were turned away due to iron deficiencies.
A third and last blood drive is planned for April 10.
At the Nov. 7 blood drive,“The first goal was 32 pints but we’re hoping to increase our goal in the next 2 blood drives,” Ongcangco said. “Last blood drive, we maximized our available slots. So the students who couldn’t be signed up will be rolled over to the next blood drive.”
Blood Bank of Hawaii is a non-profit organization that provides blood to hospitals worldwide. According to its website, “Every two seconds someone is in need of blood whether they need it for life threatening accidents, surgery, childbirth, or cancer. Three lives are saved when donating blood. The Blood Bank of Hawaii is mobile and goes to community centers, companies, and schools so people can donate their blood.”