Programs from PIDF celebrated the end of the year with a bang! After two seasons of socially-distanced programming, keiki and their ʻohana enjoyed engaging with their teachers, their community, and their friends. And not only that, our programs were truly blessed this year through the combined efforts of community partners who shared their aloha with PIDF.
For the second year in a row, Raising Cane’s teamed up with 102.7 da bomb’s Keola Show to raise money for PIDF’s keiki and ʻohana this year. Not only that, they collected toys that were gifted to keiki participants of Ka Paʻalana preschool. Thanks to Hawaiʻi’s listeners and their generosity this holiday season, Keola and his team helped raise $17,500! Plus, Raising Cane’s matched up to $7,500, for a total of $25,000 that fed directly into PIDF programs. Our hearts are overjoyed by the aloha we felt this season!
Ashley from Nomi Health was inspired to launch a book drive campaign that collected over 250 preschool books for keiki in PIDF’s early childhood education programs. Only two years before, Ashley and her husband benefitted from PIDF’s Open Arms Harbor Iso-quarantine Facility that provided a safe place for those exposed to or tested covid positive to heal. Since then, she’s been inspired by the health field and is dedicated to giving back.
“It means a whole lot to me being able to give back, especially to the keiki of Hawaiʻi. I’m just so honored to be able to bless as well as being blessed,” said Ashley.
We are so grateful to all the community members who donated books, as well as to Ashley and the Nomi Health team for supporting keiki education and providing fundamental health support to our Hawaiʻi communities.
Our long-time friends from Duke’s Waikiki, Hula Grill Waikiki, and the Outrigger Beach Resort donated 140 wrapped and ready to receive makana (gifts) for our keiki enrolled at Nā Pono No Nā ʻohana and Tūtū and Me keiki. This holiday season, our programs are especially grateful to give to ʻohana who continue to feel the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Smiles stretched from ear to ear as PIDF staff handed their program keiki their gifts this year.
Project Pilina was selected as the upcoming beneficiary of the Ohana Fuels ‘Fuel Up. Do Good.’ program. A portion of all sales from October until the end of December at participating Hawaiʻi Island Ohana Fuels locations have been donated to Project Pilina in support of foster care youth in Hawaiʻi.
The funds raised from the Ohana Fuels ‘Fuel Up. Do Good.’ program will be used to support graduating East Hawaiʻi high school students in foster care to purchase prom attire including hair and makeup, as well as caps and gowns. Remaining funds will also be used to purchase meal gift cards for foster homes to host a welcome dinner for newly placed youth.
Plus, the Hilo Crescent Lions Club and Hilo Crescent Leos Club volunteered their time at the Car Wash Events held on Nov. 11 and Dec. 12 at the Puainakou Minit Stop in Hilo. The teams willingly showed up with their youth Leos and helped Project Pilina wash cars as part of the ‘Ohana Fuels Campaign. The car washes were both free and accepted donations. Collectively they raised $941 in car wash donations from both events which will directly benefit teenagers in East Hawai’i Foster Care.
Keiki and their ʻohana on Oʻahu ended their school year with their hands digging deep into ʻāina! Participating families enjoyed a farm scavenger, in which keiki took their map key of plants and plant foods they could find on the 5-acre farm. They spotted fruit like ʻulu and maiʻa, which many saw for the first time growing on a tree and even got to try the fresh apple bananas.
Next, the preschool mahiʻai (farmers) potted plant foods like kalo to take home and enjoy. Many caregivers learned about new ways to cook and enjoy recipes using locally grown produce. Whenever possible, Kupa ʻAina engages with our community members to share more about the many impacts that our eating habits have, especially living on an island. The keiki were so excited to learn more from the farmers.
Nā Pono No Nā ʻOhana keiki went on a huakaʻi to their neighborhood site, Nalo Keiki Paniolo. Families interacted with animals like horses, goats, alpaca, pigs, and more. The keiki learned about what it’s like in the day of a Waimānalo paniolo, who shared about what kinds of foods and special facts each of these animals are known for. Keiki watched and even helped to use common command words like “whoa” that tell a horse to stop.
PIDF early childhood education programs are so grateful for these opportunities to explore their communities with their ʻohana! The team at Nalo Keiki Paniolo invited Nā Pono to tour their ranch and experience the livelihood of the animals in a very exciting way.
Ka Paʻalana invited all of their ʻohana and staff to its 8th annual health fair and celebrated being “healthy, merry, and bright!” Keiki and their ʻohana stopped at booths with community partners like the Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Coast Center, Family Hui Hawaii, The state Department of Health, Catholic Charities Hawai‘i, Ke Ola Mamo, and more. They played games like toss the ring over the Christmas tree or bean bag toss that landed on healthy practices like balancing a gift on their head while walking in a straight line or hopping five times.
ʻOhana learned about the importance of a balanced diet and nutritional foods, healthy habits like flossing and brushing teeth regularly, safe practices for social events, and how to recognize certain health concerns and when to get help. And with a focus on Native Hawaiian health and practices, keiki and their ʻohana learned about lomi lomi, lāʻau lapaʻau (traditional Native Hawaiian medicinal and spiritual practices), and the benefits of paʻakai (salt).
No Ka Paʻalana health fair is complete without a party! ʻOhana celebrated in the holiday spirit with their kumu and #KaPaalana preschool team who put together a Hawaiian Winter Wonderland! Keiki engaged in activities alongside none other than the grinch himself, as well as baby shark, a minion, and Santa Claus. Keiki, their ʻohana, and the whole team left the party with full hearts, smiles, and more equipped to care for themselves.
From our ʻohana to yours, Mele Kalikimaka!