FSO conducts homeless outreach

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Today The Salvation Army Family Services Office (FSO) homeless outreach team handed out bottled water and food to families and individuals in need. Our team doesn’t see their work as a hand down, but a hand up. They’re providing prayer and information to ensure these individuals are aware of resources that can provide them employment opportunities or access to housing through other agencies.
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“These people are people,” one woman who lives on River Street said. “Some of us don’t have a contingency plan and we end up here. I’m still attending Leeward Community College and when I graduate, I’ll find a job and get off the streets. I’m making it work with what I have right now and any information or help is appreciated.”
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Learn more on how we plan to address the homeless issue by registering for The Salvation Army CEO Sleepout at CEOSLEEPOUTHAWAII.org. All proceeds raised will benefit our Family Services across Hawaii.
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For more information on our Family Services, visit fso.salvationarmy.org.

Echelon delivers school supplies to Aiea Elementary School’s 4th Graders

Echelon surprise Today The Salvation Army Echelon Hawaii members surprised 4th graders at Aiea Elementary School with school supplies and a pizza party courtesy of Papa John’s Hawaii!

Echelon surprise

Left to Right: The Salvation Army Direct Mail and Digital Strategist, Daniel Chong, Echelon Members Corinne Hiromoto, Joshua Tokars, Erin Kanno Uehara, The Salvation Army Chief Development Officer, Jennifer Hee, and Echelon members Darah Dung, and Crystal Yamasaki.

Echelon Hawaii members Jeremy Shorenstein, chair, Joshua Tokars, Crystal Yamasaki, Erin Kanno Uehara, Darah Dung, and The Salvation Army Chief Development Officer, Jennifer Hee, collected school supplies in the last month and decided to donate them to a fourth grade class at Aiea Elementary School.

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Before receiving their backpack full of supplies, each student was asked to explain what they wanted to be when they’re older and how they plan to help others in their communities. Echelon Hawaii members were in awe of each student’s ambition to be doctors, nurses, artists, soldiers in the Army, photographers, and teachers.

“We came here thinking we’re going to give these 4th graders some much needed school supplies. But after learning who they were and their aspirations to be great leaders and help others in their communities, they gave all of us hope for a brighter future,” said Echelon member Erin Kanno Uehara. “These kids are the future of Hawaii and we’re so happy to give them tools that they need to learn and thrive in school.”

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After each student received a backpack, Echelon members served the class cheese and pepperoni pizza from Papa John’s Hawaii.

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The Salvation Army and our Echelon Hawaii members wish Aiea Elementary School 4th graders the best school year ever! 

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Click here to learn more about our Echelon Hawaii board.

Kūpuna Camp – a tradition among best friends

by Brandi Salas

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87-year-old Florence is meticulously painting her star ornament and warns her best friend, Daisy, that they only have a few minutes left to finish their project. “Daisy, they’re going to tell us to wrap up soon. Space Bingo is next and I plan to win.”

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“I’m almost pau, get one more section to paint,” responded 92-year-old Daisy. Florence and Daisy are two of 80 seniors that attended The Salvation Army Kūpuna Camp this summer. “Daisy and I are best friends. We have been coming to The Salvation Army Kūpuna Camp for 24 years. She told me about it one day and it has become a tradition for us,” said Florence.

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The Salvation Army’s Kūpuna Camp is a half-day retreat that takes place at Camp Homelani on the North Shore and invites seniors in various communities across O‘ahu to enjoy fellowship, participate in arts and crafts, games, and a luncheon to follow. This year’s theme is “Blast Off” and each activity is packed with space-themed colors and galaxy patterns. “Kūpuna Camp is an important program because it gives us an opportunity to connect with the seniors in the community, pray with them, and show them that they are loved,” said Major Lani Chamness. “We have some senior campers here that look forward to it every year, because they are isolated most of the time and are in need of fellowship and companionship.”

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Florence and Daisy

The buzzer goes off, signaling Florence and Daisy to move onto their next activity, which is Space Bingo. “I’m great at Bingo it’s a game we all enjoy,” exclaimed Florence, walking ahead to save a seat for Daisy. “Daisy and I go way back. We used to be neighbors at one point. Now we play ukulele at the Mo‘ili‘ili Community Center and wait until we get our invitation to attend Kūpuna Camp. It’s the highlight of the summer for us. We even get goodie bags.”

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Each senior camper receives a bag full of items they may find useful such as snacks, blankets, socks, and more. Florence, Daisy, and other campers rotate around the campus, playing skee ball, getting free balloon hats, and shooting down aliens with Nerf guns. “Every time I come, get something new to do,” said Daisy, “that’s why we sign up every year, they keep us entertained, there’s fellowship, and get all kine activities.”

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The day ends early with a prayer and a healthy lunch. “Daisy, I see we gonna get astronaut ice cream and cheesecake for dessert,” spies Florence.

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Lunch ends with another round of balloon tricks, hugs, and goodbyes. “We better pack up and get on our bus back to Ka‘uluwela Corps,” said Florence. “Let’s go Daisy. We’ll be back next year!”

To learn more about our services and programs for seniors, visit our website.

Camp Homelani is changing the game this year…

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The Salvation Army Camp Homelani is adding STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) to our summer camp educational activities so keiki learn how to innovate and build with a purpose! STEAM encourages innovation, creativity and the sharing of ideas.

Just last week, campers addressed world issues such as poverty, violence, pollution and hunger. They worked in teams of five or six to invent a machine or contraption with the intention of solving a problem in their community and later presented it to their peers.

We learned that pollution is not good for our health. So we created a machine that would help pick up trash and save the earth. We’re just like scientists! – The ‘Let’s Stop Pollution Girls’ Team

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Camp Homelani incorporates STEAM activities daily in addition to recreational activities such as swimming, sports, hula, or art. Each year, approximately 450 keiki from across Hawaii are invited to experience summer camp on the North Shore of O’ahu.

Click here to learn more about Camp Homelani.

Choco le’a serves a special dinner to our clients in recovery

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Last Friday, our friends at Choco le’a served a special dinner to clients at The Salvation Army Family Treatment Services (FTS). “We wanted to do something special for the women who inspire us,” said Choco le’a co-owner, Erin Uehara, who also serves on The Salvation Army Echelon Board. “I’ve heard their stories of resiliency and I admire their determination to become strong, contributing members of our community.”

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Uehara and her team gave gifts to each mother along with toys and clothing for their children. “We won a grant from the American Small Business Championship and we decided to use it to buy necessities for the women in recovery and their children. It’s something our team wanted to do,” said Uehara.

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“It was nice to know that we have neighbors that support our journey to recovery. Seeing how they want to contribute to our families’ success is heartwarming,” said Chasity S., a client at FTS. “We want to thank them for everything they have given us and getting to know us personally.”