Happy New Year!
At this time of year, many of us take time to reflect on the past and think about what we hope to accomplish in the future. New Year’s resolutions come and go, often to be repeated again and again. I was recently reminded that my resolution to block out more personal time for relaxation and exercise is exactly what I called for last year. I then realized that I have been talking about this same desire for years. Hopefully, I will get it right this time.
Many people resolve to do more community service in the coming year. There are endless ways to help improve our community, beginning with simple efforts like picking up litter or giving just one day to a service project. Caring for children, kupuna, sick and disabled can be very challenging and underappreciated, yet these actions are truly honorable and essential. Youth sports programs always need volunteers. Countless organizations are waiting for your help. Find one you like and support it!
I recently spoke to the Waialua High School 9th grade AVID class about community service. I shared some of my experiences helping various charities, organizing non-profits organizations and getting involved with youth baseball and soccer programs. We talked about some of the many worthwhile projects around the North Shore and I was impressed to learn that their teacher, Jennifer Liu, has already scheduled the class to participate in multiple projects.
Joining me to talk to the students about one such project was Ati Jeffers-Fabro, who invited the students to learn more about the natural and cultural resources at Kaena Point State Park. The Friends of Kaena Point seek to create more opportunities for education and recreation for residents and visitors. Information on guided hikes and volunteer opportunities is posted at FriendsofKaena.org.
Na Mea Kupono Lo`I Kalo invites individuals and families to help restore and expand a taro farm in Waialua by volunteering on the Third Saturday of each month. Find Na Mea Kupono on Facebook.
Hard working volunteers at Malama Loko Ea continue to improve the fish pond mauka of Haleiwa Beach Park. Their regular work day is also on Third Saturdays. Learn more on Facebook and at LokoEa.org.
Just off of Hauula Homestead Road, the Maunawila Heiau is believed to be one of the last relatively intact heiau in Koolauloa. The heiau was recently dedicated into conservation and volunteer work days occur on Second Saturday of each month. Call Dotty Kelly- Paddock at 255-6944 for more information.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to give something back for our community, please consider one of these cultural projects, or find another worthy community group or individual to kokua.