Kōkua Initiative: What We Did in 2020

Wow, what a challenge this past year has been. Amidst a global pandemic, the extreme circumstances we all faced and the emotional transitions of fear, anger, heartache, pain, faith, and even hope, brings to light how apparent it is that we are a people of strength who are filled with Aloha. Although we have great strides to achieve to reach a somewhat world of normalcy, it is humbling to see that when life gets extremely challenging, communities pull together to bring to life many treasured values that make us united, some of which include the value of Aloha by showing love, respect and compassion for a fellow man. Laulima by working together to support and uplift another in need, especially those most vulnerable. Mālama to take care of and strengthen one another, not because of expectation, but because of genuine love and kindness, which results in living pono, or doing right by another or doing good even when no one is watching.

This past year, the Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water company chose to pivot their volunteer efforts in their Kōkua Initiative program to use their resources to focus, bless, and support the immediate needs of the community, to assist those directly impacted by COVID-19. Simple acts of kindness can bring a smile to someoneʻs face, brighten someoneʻs day and pull people together. The Kōkua Initiative was determined to do just that and spent time in outreach to see what the needs of the community were. Plans were formulated to see how those needs could be met. Tasks were implemented by teams to make those plans come to fruition and lives were blessed by hitting the pavement to support our Lāhui.

Some of the organizations that the Waiākea Kōkua Initiative helped to support within the community include:

    • Merrie Monarch Festival
    • OK Farms – Hawaii Eco CSA Food Boxes
    • Vibrant Hawaii Resilience Hub of Mountain View at Hilo Coffee Mill
    • Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home
    • Hale Anuenue Restorative Care
    • Life Care Center of Hilo
    • Hawaii Island Adult Care (HAIC)
    • United Health Care
    • Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI)
    • Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻOiwi
    • Bay Clinic
    • Teddyʻs of Hope
    • Waiākea High School
    • Waiākea Intermediate School
    • Waiākea Elementary School
    • Waiākeawaena Elementary School
    • Pahoa High and Intermediate School
    • Kamehameha Schools Kealapono Program
    • Imiloa Astronomy Center Hālau Lamakū Program for children K-5th grade
    • YWCA Preschool and their Family Literacy Nights
    • YMCA Youth Day Camp
    • Keiki O Ka ʻĀina (KOKA) Laulima Giving Program - Laulima Day
    • Keiki O Ka ʻĀina (KOKA) & KHON - Laulima Telethon
    • Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) Meal Distribution
    • Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island (BGCBI) Meal Distribution
    • Alu Like - Keolapono Na Kūpuna Meal Distribution
    • Meals on Wheels
    • Food Basket, Hawaiʻi Food Bank
    • Hope Services Hawaii Homeless Shelters
    • Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC)
    • Cheyleia Gomes
    • Salvation Army Family Intervention Services
    • Shane Victorino Foundation
    • Project Hawaii
    • Hlio Medical Center
    • Hawai’i PD

Since COVID presents unique challenges for every group, we really worked with each organization to make the biggest impact. Thus, the supplies donated covered many areas:

  • Water
  • Cash
  • Reusable triple-layered cloth masks
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
  • Walkie talkies
  • Kindle tablets
  • Angel Giving Program: wooden puzzles, Uno Cards
  • Welcome Kits including a bath towel, washcloth, bath soap, toothbrush, comb, drawstring backpacks, and 50 refill kits
  • Incentive Gift Certificates for donors

In 2020, we impacted the lives of 19,851 Hawaiians in need.

If it's one thing that we can be certain of, we are a people of resilience, with the ability to persevere and overcome challenges especially when we pull together. Mary Kawena Pukui once stated, “ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia.” No task is too big when done together by all, a good reminder that when everyone contributes and works together to accomplish tasks, it lightens the load, it unified people, strengthens relationships and our community. This will be the Waiākea Kōkua Initiative theme for 2021 as we continue to support communities and collaborate with other businesses and organizations in hopes to spread a little cheer, honoring the value of Aloha, giving service to others in need because together we can accomplish great things.

Mahalo Nui to all of our Waiākea ʻOhana customers. You fill us with much gratitude. The Kōkua Initiative would not be possible without all of you. By your support we are able to give back, assist and make a positive impact for our communities. For more information about Waiākea go to www.waiakea.com