Categorized | Volunteering

Puna keiki excited to start year with new school supplies

(Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Place of Puna)


Without crayons, how could a child draw a picture? With no paper and pencil, how could a young mind express new ideas?

The start of a new school year means new school supplies for students. However, for many families struggling in these tough economic times, purchasing new school supplies is an expense they cannot afford.

More than 1,750 students from kindergarten through 12th grades received free school supplies July 14 at the 8th annual “Ready to Learn” school supplies distribution.

The school supplies give-away is organized by Neighborhood Place of Puna and the Puna Roundtable’s “Ready to Learn” Committee with the help of many volunteers and donors.

“To give back to the community is so important,” said Anakala Mano of Men of Paʻa, one of the service groups volunteering at the event. “It’s a struggle in life today and families need the support, so that’s why we come out for positive things like this. This is a Positive Action Alliance.”

Support came from more than 30 local businesses, churches, government agencies and volunteers from the Lion’s Club, Rotary, Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center, Kamehameha Schools, Makuu Farmer’s Market and Puna Wahine, to name a few, who all pitched in for the benefit of Puna’s youth.

“By working together, we can all make a difference,” said Neighborhood Place Director Paul Normann. “A heartfelt mahalo goes out to all who leant a hand and contributed to helping our keiki start off the year with the supplies they need.”

In just under three hours, the Big Island Movers freight truck that had been loaded up with six pallets of supplies was completely emptied.

Gobs of school glue, colorful markers, hundreds of marble tablets and a few thousand pens and pencils are now in the hands of excited keiki eager to learn and grateful to be given the tools they need to succeed into the future.

For further information, call Neighborhood Place of Puna at 965-5550.

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