Thanksgiving ReflectionsOn a gorgeous fall Kauai day, when the heat of summer had finally broken, Marilyn Mohler was at the Kapaa Neighborhood Center, hosting the annual Thanksgiving luncheon for Hui O Na Makua Ho`okaki O Kaua`i , a nonprofit organization that she founded in 2000 to serve single parents.

“I moved here in 1962, with my folks and their eight kids,” Mohler recalls. “My Dad passed in ’65 so I know what it’s like to grow up in a single parent family.”

Mohler, a former teacher at Kapa`a Elementary, founded the organization with her husband after students came to her on campus, complaining of hunger.

Thanks to grants from the Bowman Family Foundation and Falko Partners, Hui O Na Makua Ho`okaki O Kaua`i  has provided job training, child care, services referrals, transportation and household management for some 600 clients since 2000.   Mohler also depends on her ongoing collaboration with the Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch to regularly feed about 20 families.

In the past, the Hui supported the Kapaa Boy & Girls Club, gave food to the Kapaa Elementary School teachers when on strike, and pitched in for a youth’s suicide.  This past year, Marilyn even donated $500.00 to the Big
Island for Hurricane Iselle relief.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” she says. “We have lots of foster families that we serve.   We meet the families at the Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch and help them with meals. In extreme cases, we’ll deliver.”

As Mohler discusses her work, she is joined by her six-member staff — all volunteers — in the buzz of preparing for the afternoon’s festivities.

So how do most families find out about her organization?

“Through Michelle and Wes at the Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch, and other families who share the information,” Mohler replies.

Collaboration brings people and organizations together. Kokua Kauai!

For More Information:
Hui O Na Makua Ho`okaki O Kaua`i
Marilyn Mohler

Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch
Michelle Panoke
Wes Perreira


Photos by Faith Harding

Angel White & her Ohana say “Mahalo to Hui O Na Makua Ho`okaki O Kaua`i & Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch”
Marily Mohler and her staff at Hui O Na Makua Ho`okaki O Kaua`i with  Wes Perreira of Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch

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