In line with Valentine’s Day around the corner, Holualoa Elementary School fifth grade students from the Kids Helping Kids program (a mentorship program for fifth graders to help kindergartners transition into school) will be illustrating what caring hearts can do. They will be assembling children packets for the pediatric patients and kids who are visiting or waiting for loved ones at Kona Community Hospital. This new Pu’uwai Ola” (Healing Heart) Campaign provides teddy bears, hospital children activity kits, and baby layettes that will be delivered to the hospital on a regular basis.
It all began when Zoe Quarels, Kids Helping Kids member, read a book about a girl who made a difference in the community by piecing dolls together for a local hospital. She told Taylor Keliipio, another Kids Helping Kids member, about the story. Since Taylor had a broken arm, she could relate to being fearful at a hospital and wanting something that would help alleviate those feelings. After asking their program advisors, Shaula Tualaulelei and Tammy Iona, about how they could give back, the advisors set forth in figuring out how they could make it reality.
In due course, four other organizations stepped up to the plate. The Assistance League of Hawaii, a non-profit organization since 1971, will be donating all of the items (teddy bears, baby layettes that include diapers, onesies, and a blanket, and hospital educational kits for all children that are in the Emergency Room) through their “We Care” program. This will be the first time they have extended it to the neighbor islands. The Neighborhood Place of Kona will be providing the bags the items will be packaged in, and Street Innovations, a car club started by Chayson Matsuoka who passed away last year, will be delivering the packages to the hospital whenever needed. Furthermore, Target will be assisting by tagging the bears with a “Pu’uwai Ola” (Healing Heart).
“The beauty of this is the inspiration the kids have for helping other kids,” commented Shaula Tualaulelei, Holualoa Elementary School Kids Helping Kids Program Advisor. “To see how it has sprouted and how it goes hand in hand with all of the other community partnerships is quite amazing.”
The students will be putting together the Healing Heart packages this Friday, February 11 from 12:15 p.m .to 12:45 p.m. at Holualoa Elementary School. They will be delivered to the hospital in time for Valentine’s Day.
Founded in 1914, Kona Community Hospital is a 94-bed full-service hospital with 24-hour emergency services that supports the west region of the island of Hawaii. It is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a special agency of the state of Hawaii established in 1996. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Kona Community Hospital is dedicated to providing and enhancing accessible comprehensive healthcare services to the West Hawaii community.