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Students donate over 550 bags to IHS & Family Promise

Outreach Project:  Bags of Hope

This year is the Year of Mercy, a great time to help the homeless and elderly in our community.  Saint Francis School in Manoa Valley began by collecting personal care items and bags and started filling them with towels, wash clothes, soap, toothpaste/toothbrushes, and shampoo.  The project started on October  10, 2016 and was completed on December 9, 2016.

Donations started coming in first from Danajane Okudara (Assistant Director of Housekeeping for Hilton Hawaii Village),  a parent of our eight grade student,  Amanda. Boxes of towels, soap, lotions and shampoo were delivered to the school. Donations from all the students from Pre-k to 12 grade, families, staff and the Sisters of St. Francis, all part of our Saint Francis School  Ohana, filled the computer classroom.  Students wrote Letters to be included in the bags to their follow brothers and sisters.

The first two carloads of bags were delivered to St. Augustine by the Sea for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner open to anyone who wanted to come.  The expected number of 80 persons was far exceeded, with 180 people expectantly eying the bags and expressing their wishes for “just the right one for them.”  Needless to say, there was great joy as our Bags of Hope fulfilled their purpose, giving not only a bit of hope, but also delight to those who were present.  Sister Cheryl Wint, a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities who works in the Pastoral Care Programs of St. Augustine, made sure that the Bags of Hope were given with much Aloha.

The next installments of donations were delivered to Family Promise of Hawaii.  The program helps homeless families stay together.   Families are in a safe environment until they are able to get back on their own. During the day, guests work, pursue employment, attend school, or enroll in job training. A Family Center provides access to phones, mail, fax, a copier, shower, and laundry facilities. Three to five families (up to 14 individuals) can be accommodated by each network at any given time. The program provides transportation to and from the host sites (Ms. Julian’s Church, Holy Trinity is one of the host sites) and the Family Center.

Another stop for donations went to IHS (The Institute for Human Services). This 24-hour emergency shelter is a support service for men and women. IHS provides housing, meals, showers, clothing, laundry and case management for the homeless.


God Bless,
Cecelia Julian

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