If you're Scrooge, don't even bother reading this.
As you've gathered by now, I live in a quite rural area. Naalehu is about a 2 hour drive away from most governmental offices, so the region gets pretty much ignored when it comes to support services. Monies earmarked for improvements here mysteriously disappear and get reassigned projects in other districts. The vast majority of the residents are poor or retirees on limited retirement income. But folks here generally don't whine about it. When something gets their attention that the area really wants, they go about getting it done. They work on fundraising, banding together into work teams, everybody putting in their own little bit of effort in order to achieve a larger goal. The Ka'u residents solicited and earned money to help buy land for a coastal park, saving it from a condo developer. They annually raised money to buy heart monitors, lab equipment, digital x-ray machine, plus many other much needed items for their little local hospital. They worked to attain a passenger van for the little and only medical assisted living facility (a.k.a. - nursing home). Individuals and churches collect and distribute food to those in need. E-readers get obtained (donated) and given to the tiny library in town. The people come together to clean highways and beaches. The list goes on and on. People here work to help themselves and their neighbors.
Now....let's cut the chase and get to the point. Naalehu has ZERO senior housing. But the town and close surrounding area has a high need for it. Now.....there's this piece of land on the market now right in the middle of town. It would be a super location for senior housing --- in town, walking distance (even for seniors) to food shopping, hardware store (more like a general store), post office, bank, laundromat, dentist, Doctor, hair dresser/barber, coffee shop, town farmers market, bus stop. Not only is the problem the purchase price and construction, but the existing brokendown buildings and gang cesspool need to be dealt with, an expensive proposition. Plus there will be a slew of county permits required.
Our local non-profit, OKK (O Ka'u Kahou), helps Ka'u residents. Right now it is attempting to create housing opportunities for our seniors in need. They have secured pledges of help via physical labor, use of heavy equipment, but the real need is plain cash to get the down payment together for the land. Once that's done, additional help and funds will become available for down the road. OKK came up will a brilliant fundraiser to hopefully attract attention to this project. The OKK president, Wayne Kawachi, will walk 100 miles in SLIPPAHS from Honoka'a to Na'alehu. People who can afford it have been pledging money for each mile and thus far $4,000 has been pledged. Wayne himself has pledged $10 per mile. Regretfully $5,000 isn't near enough, so Ka'u residents are rallying to raise funds. This is a very, very important project to them.
Soooooooooo, if any of you are in the holiday spirit and would be willing to donate a few dollars to a mighty good cause, please visit the donation website. Truthfully, even a $5 donation would be much appreciated. Now just to goad you, or shame you, whichever applies ....... My farm has donated $100. Our Wwoofer, Adam, is donating one of his day's take at the farmers market. Now there's a good soul, poor as can be, donating an entire week's income. It's a case of having personal pride in participating in a good cause.
So I've shamelessly promoted OKK's latest endeavor. I fully support them! Below is the link to their donation website. The little video is Wayne himself. As you can see he's no spring chicken. So-- when's the last time YOU walked 100 miles in flip flops! Wayne is one dedicated fella.