Waimanalo organization helps those in need: ‘Whatever we can do to help them, we’re here with open arms’ – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-11-25 23:55:40 –

Honolulu (KHON2) — Holidays are about gratitude for the blessings in our lives and sharing what we have with others. For Blanche McMillan, CEO of Hui Mahi’ai Aina in Waimanalo, it is about realizing a family heritage of service to the community.

Blanche’s mission was not just to feed the homeless for Thanksgiving. It was to provide them with homes and opportunities to improve themselves all year round.

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Blanche said he always wanted to serve others. She learned it from her parents when she grew up in Waimanalo.

“I grew up with my father and mother who love to take care of others. I came from a family of 17 people, 9 sisters and 8 brothers. My family always loves people. Take me, strangers, anyone without food, no clothes. I look at (my parents) and say, “Someday I want to be that.” “

Blanche McMillan, CEO of Hui Mahi’ai Aina

When COVID hit in March 2020, Blanche took action by creating Hoimahi Aina.

“When I first heard about COVID, I didn’t want anyone to get sick there. So it’s time for them to return to where the land is, where they are safe and protected. I decided to do it, “Blanche added.

Blanche then began to accept people. Since then, her Hoimahi Aina has grown. They have a small house and a community garden — it’s all donated.

Wayleen McMillan, President of Hui Mahi’ai Aina, has returned to Waimanalo to help her mother realize her grandparents’ vision.

“Whatever we can do to help them, we are here with our arms outstretched,” Wayleen said. “We have a food bank every Tuesday night and the first Thursday of every month at 12:00 pm. We have a big drive at the Waimanalo Jim food bank. Other than that, someone has something wrong. If you come here, if they need food, clothing and hygiene, we have it all. They can just come here. “

As people move from shelters to more permanent homes, the number of people living in the land changes. Currently, 35 adults and 8 children live there.

For Thanksgiving, their mission was to feed everyone in need in Waimanalo.

When Tammy and Capone Vitro met Blanche, they wanted to tip in.

“We had to give back because there are so many people who are far more unhappy than we are,” said Capone Vitro.

“We formed a band with the Band of Brothers and brought breakfast,” added Tammy Vitro. “Then we took advantage of it and teamed up with another really good friend A & G Bar and Grill in Waianae and had lunch for them. So now we’re back in Round 2. I am. “

Some Waimanalo churches have shuttled homeless people to deliver food to hundreds of people.

Janita Mercades, her eldest daughter Jocelyn Fujita, and four young children moved to Hui Mahi’ai Aina a year and a half ago after losing their home. It changed their lives.

“It was great just to see the smile and comfort that my little brother had,” Fujita said. “That was enough. I just knew I was at home and safe.”

“I can’t put a word on it,” Mercades said. “I can’t put my emotions on it. It’s overwhelming, I feel very lucky and blessed, and we all think so.”

“Everything is a blessing,” Fujita said, smiling and looking at her mother. “It’s a blessing after every day blessing. And today it just expanded.”

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“That’s right,” added Mercade with a smile. “It’s like blowing my heart away.”

If you want to make a donation or want to know more about Hui Mahi’ai Aina, click here.

Waimanalo organization helps those in need: ‘Whatever we can do to help them, we’re here with open arms’ Source link Waimanalo organization helps those in need: ‘Whatever we can do to help them, we’re here with open arms’

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