PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - Laine Kohama, President 2015-2016
Aloha Rotary E-Club members and fellow Rotarians!
Rotary allows us to help those in need and there are many. Our PDG Laura has a passion for helping Hawaii’s homeless. It’s always a blessing to be able to give back to those in need. A couple of weeks ago, our club teamed up with the Kahala Sunrise club to feed the homeless at the River of Life Mission. In addition, please check out below for Kama’s induction video.
Last year, we were fortunate to team up with the Kahala Sunrise Club and this year we could do this project again. Mahalo to Capsun, Courtlin, Garry, and Joe from my computer company Gigaisland on helping us with the project. We were joined by Kahala Sunrise Members Calvin, Alan, and Wil.
This year we could get a tour of their organizations from Shevy. She took us up to the 2nd and 3rd floor of their operations. We got to take an elevator from the early 1900s up to the 2nd floor. I felt we were in a mob movie all going up the elevator together. On the 2nd, floor is where they offer hot showers, clean clothes, and toiletries to people in need. Calvin mentioned that it helped them restore their sense of dignity, which is very important. He also mentioned that the River of Life mission does accept brand new men and women's underwear, as well as socks.
On the third floor was the chocolate making factory. That chocolate factory is run by Ana Sagadraca. We got a tour of how they make the chocolate and sell it. The non profit is called “Chocolate on a Mission.” Recently, they’ve been selling their chocolate to Roy’s Restaurant in China. They also employ workers who came through the River of Life mission program. This is what’s very special about the River of Life mission is that they help train people in need, and help them get back on their feet. If you would like to purchase chocolate, you can give them a call, and you can arrange to go there and purchase them. They have a ton of chocolate fun stuff that can be used for favors or parities. One of them was the chocolate-covered fortune cookies, with a special message you get to put in.
The last part of the tour is where we met the Executive Director Bob Marchant explained to us about the River of Life Mission. He also told us his background and how he got started 16 years ago, coming from the Hilton in Waikiki as a GM.
Now for the reason why we went there, which was to serve the homeless a hot meal. There are a couple of duties where we all helped, which was plating food, serving food, providing utensils, busing and wiping tables, and filling up their water pitchers and cups. This time I could work with Wil to fill up the water and pitchers. It actually kept me busy the whole time I was there. That day we severed hundreds of meals. At the end of the day were wiped down the tables, chairs, and swept up the area. If you’re interested in joining us, please let me know as we have another one on May 10th from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
This past week PE Capsun helped the East Honolulu Club and I teamed up with 5 clubs at Central Middle school. I’ll talk about that next week. Lastly, please join us for our board meeting at Eat Honolulu on May 18th at 11:30 - 1:00 pm. Additionally, please join us at the Ilikai where we will watch our very own Kama Hopkins play Hawaiian music on May 20th at 5:30 pm. Hope to see you folks there. Have a great week everyone!
SPEAKER: OPENING DOORS IN CUBA
By Jon Kaufman, director of H2OpenDoors
Along with 40 friends and supporters of the H2OpenDoors project, I took part in an eight-day exploratory expedition to Cuba on 8 April.
Members of six Rotary clubs in District 5150 and their friends and family joined The Bay Area Cuba Community Alliance, starting on the far eastern side of the island for a visit and site survey at a small village in Granma province. Each person presented a suitcase of donations to the Town Delegate in an emotional ceremony.
Baseball equipment, animal husbandry tools, school supplies, and children’s clothing were among the gifts for over 550 residents. The town had been home to one of the best community baseball teams in Cuba, but they have been unable to play for over two years for lack of equipment. After a great ball game, the town elders hosted us for a lunch feast.
H2OpenDoors will return in December to install a SunSpring water purification plant to provide safe drinking water for the entire community, and an additional system in a similar community near Havana.
Following the visit to the rural colonies, our group hosted a cocktail gala at Havana’s iconic Hotel Nacional for Cuban entrepreneurs to start a dialogue about Rotary and the recent visit by U.S. President Barak Obama’s administration, and to build new friendships. The 120 participants broke out into four focus groups for lively discussions about the arts, education, water and infrastructure, and businesses.
Another 40 people will be able to join H2OpenDoors between 8-17 December for a similar schedule, including a day at the Havana International Jazz Festival. For more information go to www.H2OpenDoors.org or contact me at jon@H2OpenDoors.org
ROTARY E-CLUB OF HAWAII UPCOMING EVENTS
River Life Mission Project with Downtown Honolulu and Honolulu Sunrise
We have another opportunity to work with more wonderful Rotarians. The next date will be May 10th at 12:30 - 3:30 pm at the River of Life mission.
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