ECHELON: Duty, Discipline, Delight

Echelon Hawaii, a group of young leaders collectively rising up to serve their local communities through The Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division, routinely share their thoughts, news, and information on upcoming events with our readers. Here is a guest post by Echelon member, Clifton Yasutomi, from Pacific Rim Legacy Group.

Recently I’ve been trying to build the habit of exercising during lunch. It hasn’t been fun. My body hurts for days afterwards, and I’d much rather enjoy that hour with a carnitas burrito in the comfort of my air-conditioned office. Exercise is important, but it can certainly feel painful at the time.

Health is just one of my personal priorities. In order of importance, my focus is to practice the daily routines that will strengthen my faith, family, health and business. A few years ago, my pastor taught me that every good habit begins as a duty, evolves into a discipline and eventually becomes a delight.

Duty – New routines can be unnatural and painful. In the beginning, there is always an internal struggle to get up and go. A duty feels like an obligation we grudgingly must push through.

Discipline – A consistent pattern of duty can become a discipline. When driven by discipline, internal motivation is greater than the excuses that prevent progress.

Delight – Once we experience the rewards of discipline, work becomes enjoyable and fulfilling. Anything performed with delight is usually completed with excellence.

It is said that success is hidden in our daily habits. Let’s commit to the positive activities that feel like a duty today, and I’m confident that before long those duties will become a delight.

The Salvation Army is special to me because it aligns with my four personal priorities. The mission of The Salvation Army is centered around faith. Projects and outreach strengthen the families and health of those in our community, and I’m proud that my contribution to the organization also reflects upon the generosity of my business. It’s a blessing to serve with this group and I invite you to find delight in #doingthemostgood with us.

The Salvation Army serves Marco Polo residents and first responders

The Salvation Army Pathway of Hope Director, Anna Stone, offers a prayer to a resident of the Marco Polo condominium.

The Salvation Army is providing services such as rental or lodging assistance, food, clothing, and emotional support to those affected by the Marco Polo condominium fire this past weekend. Families are forced to find places to live as building inspectors assess the damage and allow them back into their units to retrieve personal belongings. A few families have no choice but to remain in their damaged units until they are assisted with housing alternatives.

In coordination with community partners such as Royal Kitchen, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Aloha Harvest, The Salvation Army provides meals to affected residents, first responders that continue to guide assessment teams, and building staff that work around the clock in response to the fatal fire.

A total of 200 units at the Marco Polo condominium were damaged from the fire. “We just want to help those in need and provide solutions to those families that have lost all of their belongings. Some of them don’t have anyone to turn to and we want to be there for them,” said Anna Stone, The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope Director, who was on site the day after the fire, providing supplies and spiritual support to residents in the shelter set up by the American Red Cross. “The community support is great so far with the meals served each day.”

The Salvation Army continues to support residents, building staff, and first responders. An emergency relief fund has been set up to directly support those affected by the fire. 100% of all donations will go towards relief efforts. To donate to the Marco Polo condo emergency relief fund, click here.

The Salvation Army summer music campers showcase skills at the Kroc Center

More than 80 summer campers attended Music Camp at The Salvation Army Camp Homelani last week. The final day of camp ends with a concert for the campers’ parents and loved ones; it’s a chance for them to showcase what they have learned over the week. Each performance was formally introduced by a Music Camper, a task that helps them build on public speaking and business skills they would need in the future.

The goal of Music Camp is to help keiki in need discover or develop their musical talents. Each child willingly practices guitar, percussion, brass, piano, singing, hula, acting, or visual arts for hours each day. “I’m overwhelmed by their dedication and ability to express themselves through music,” said Divisional Music Director, Crystal Nakamaejo, who spearheads Music Camp each year at The Salvation Army Camp Homelani campus on the North Shore. Many of the children discover creative outlets and are mentored by a staff of professional musicians. “The Salvation Army is blessed to invite local musicians and artists to mentor and teach our music campers. They donate a week of their time to share their talents with local youth,” said Crystal.

Brass and music theory instructor, Susan Pierce, taught music campers how to read and write music.”There was one child that was already writing his own music. He was so advanced. We taught children and teens at different skill levels and it was rewarding to see their progress in a week,” said Susan. “Music Camp is a way for The Salvation Army to provide healthy arts that children may be missing in school or communities. The great thing about this camp is not only the arts, but the spiritual component. These children are given the space to grow in creativity and moral values…they really thrive on that.”

14-year-old Music Camper Noelle worked especially hard this summer. “This is my second time at The Salvation Army Music Camp. I worked harder to improve to show my family how important music means to me,” said Noelle. “I’m glad they came to our Music Camp concert and saw my performance.”

ECHELON: Being a servant-leader

Echelon Hawaii, a group of young leaders collectively rising up to serve their local communities through The Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division, have established their mark through volunteerism, fundraising, and networking opportunities. As part of our efforts to show the community the work of The Salvation Army, we’ve invited our Echelon members and advisors to share their thoughts, news, and information on upcoming events with our readers. Here is a guest post by Echelon advisor and Honolulu Advisory Board Member, Billie Lueder, from the University of Hawaii – Honolulu Community College.

Billie Lueder, Honolulu Community College

Leading a life of service was instilled in me at an early age by my parents. They taught me to think of others before myself through my actions and the words that I spoke.  This core value has shaped my leadership style of being a servant-leader; serving others verses top down leadership which has produced higher performance, active engagement, and respect from others.

It is this servant-leadership style of Doing The Most Good that attracted me to serve on The Salvation Army Honolulu Advisory Board. What a concept!  It was so easy to tie everything that The Salvation Army does to help those in our community who have the greatest needs.  I was so drawn to this purpose that I wanted to share it with my family.

Billie’s daughters Randie and Reese

As a mother of two young and vibrant daughters, Randie and Reese, it became imperative that I be a role model that they can look up to and be proud of.  They are our future and I want them to experience early on the positive benefits of hard work, humility, and service above self.

I am so proud of the work that Echelon Hawaii has done in a short one year of existence.  This young leader board has made it their kuleana to mobilize the next generation of leaders in our community through leading by serving.  Through efforts like our Red Pencil Project, Echelon Hawaii will not only be donating needed school supplies to young keiki, but they will be having ongoing, engaging conversations with these children around what it means to serve others and Doing The Most Good in their community.  The goal is for these keiki to internalize The Salvation Army tag line to the point that it becomes a part of their core value system thereby continuing the never-ending circle of reciprocity.

Boehm receives award for excellence in social work

The Salvation Army Western Territory has recognized Melanie Boehm, the Executive Director of Addiction Treatment Services and Family Treatment Services for her work in social services in Hawaii. Known best for leading a team that provides a compassionate approach to drug and alcohol treatment on Oahu, Boehm constantly seeks ways to improve services and programs for individuals dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. Read more here.