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KS Hawaiʻi Operations Manager Greg Ho, right, accepts food and supplies donated by student families from an Akita company bus driver. The donations are part of the campus’ efforts to provide relief to KS employees, students and their families impacted by Tropical Storm Iselle.

KS Hawai'i provides relief to storm victims in the spirit of kahiau

Aug. 14, 2014

Contributed by Nadine Lagaso

Over 70 Kamehameha Schools employees, 200 students and their families were severely impacted by Tropical Storm Iselle which tore through Hawaiʻi Island’s Puna region on August 6.  The storm left over 8,000 families without electrical power and with limited access to ice, batteries and water.

Among those hit hard by the storm was Nick Francisco, a KS literacy resource teacher. Although his home was spared, a 100-foot Albezia tree fell across his driveway downing three telephone poles and leaving his family without electricity.

On his way home from work today Francisco will stop at the KS Hawaiʻi campus to pick up bags of ice – a rare commodity in Hilo. The campus has been making and bagging ice since Sunday to distribute to impacted staffers, students, and families – both on campus and in the community.

“It’s so comforting to know that the campus ‘ohana is there to support those of us who work in the community,” said Francisco, who teaches at Mountain View Elementary School. “My family and I truly appreciate the help.”

The campus’ storm relief efforts are being shepherded by KS Hawaiʻi Headmaster Holoua Stender in the spirit of kahiau (selfless giving).

He and Food Services Assistant Manager Sonny Lapenia were among the first staffers to step foot on the campus after Iselle. With help from their families, they bagged more than 3,100 pounds of ice for distribution when school reopened on August 11.

In addition to distributing ice, the campus has also opened its shower facilities to impacted staff members and teamed up with its Parent Teacher Organization to hold a food and supply drive. The campus is collecting donations of non-perishable canned goods, paper plates, toilet paper, bottled water, batteries and other necessities.

Food and supplies that are not distributed to KS staffers and families will be donated to the greater Puna community which is still in need.

A heartfelt "mahalo" to Headmaster's Office Senior Administrative Assistant Caron Martin, Food Services Coordinator Mary Jane Rapoza, and Literacy Instruction and Support Program Director Rochelle Yamashita for sharing details for this story.

Greg Ho, Allennette Stender - wife of Headmaster Holoua Stender, Kāhealani Naeʻole-Wong, and Leslie Ahuna (far right) and PTO members Chenielle Quicusan, Shellbi Mahuna, and Pohai Aarona, lend a hand.

Elementary school Student Activities and ʻOhana Coordinator Marcie Saquing and PTO members Pohai Aarona and Shellbi Mahuna kōkua at today’s kahiau event.

KS Literacy Resource Teacher Nick Francisco and his family are among the hundreds of storm victims who received help from the KS Hawaiʻi ʻohana.


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