By Tommy Noyes
The strong turnout of cheerful, willing young individuals always impresses me each time the Friends of Kamalani coordinate a community workday. Your help is also needed on Saturday, Oct. 22, for National Make a Difference Day in Lydgate Park. The job is painting the Kamalani Kai Bridge, so mark your calendar to check in at the Kamalani Pavilion in the overnight camping area at 7:30 a.m. if you can assist.
Here are some observations from the youth that continue helping in the park:
“The Boys & Girls Club of Hawai‘i-Līhu‘e provides a safe, structured and positive environment for young people after school, during holidays, and on summer vacation,” said Asaka Herman, Līhu‘e Clubhouse Director. “Our mission is to inspire young people to become responsible citizens, and we accomplish this by providing life-enhancing programs and character development experiences. Helping at National Make a Difference Day in Lydgate Park shows our members that it’s actually fun to give back to the community.”
Kapa‘a High School’s Peer Mediation Club aspires to create safe and peaceful school environments around the island. Some of the club’s objectives include creating a cooperative, solution focused environment through peaceful conflict resolution; creating opportunities for meaningful participation; and strengthening students by developing social confidence, problem-solving skills, autonomy, and a sense of purpose.
This year, the club’s co-presidents are Nevaeh Arruda-Kapu and Malana Lopez. “We educate students about bullying,” said Nevaeh Arruda-Kapu, adding students should know what to do if they’re being bullied, that they don’t have to give up, and that there are experienced people at school who are there for them.
“We get involved in a variety of community service projects in addition to National Make A Difference Day in Lydgate Park,” Nevaeh said. “For instance we’ve helped children at the Shriners Hospital in Honolulu. Service like this gives us life skills, and we get noticed. We get out into the community and it has really helped us spread our Peer Mediation concept to other schools like Kaua‘i and Waimea High Schools.”
Malana said Lydgate Park community workdays are unique networking opportunities.
“In addition to giving back, we broaden our perspective by meeting and reaching out to members of other organizations who have similar values,” Malana said.
Danica Ola is president of the Leo Club, a youth affiliate of the Lions Club. Leo members acquire skills as project organizers and motivators of their peers.
“We support the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank and the Surfrider Foundation, and get involved in the community as much as possible,” Ola said. “Beaches are for local families, we want to help keep our island’s beaches in tip top shape. We are willing to do anything so long we’re helping out. Kaua‘i is small, there’s a tight-knit community and we help each other out.”
Call 808 639-1018 or visit www.kamalani.org to register as a volunteer for National Make A Difference Day in Lydgate Park or get more information on the Friends of Kamalani.
- Tommy Noyes is Kaua‘i Path’s executive director, a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor and active with the Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps.