Moloka‘i: serving small communities of Old Hawai‘i
Doing the Most Good- Hawaiian and the Pacific Islands
Army’s work reaches many in need.
The beautiful island of Moloka‘i, the fifth largest of the eight islands in Hawai‘i, still retains remnants of the unique pineapple plantation days of old Hawai‘i. Except for the introduction of tourism to support its economy, it has remained largely rural.
Moloka‘i has approximately 6,000 residents. Sadly, it has a poverty rate of 26 percent while unemployment hovers around 16 percent. About a quarter of its people are on food stamps and a third are on Medicaid.
In partnership with the Food Bank, each month The Salvation Army Moloka‘i Outpost distributes food supplies to 16 agencies. With the help of young volunteers, this small Salvation Army unit makes regular home deliveries of food bags to more than 200 individuals. The recipients are mostly seniors who are homebound, or have no available means of transportation. The volunteers spend time with them, sing songs and even share Scriptures.
Programs help youth
Moloka‘i’s young schoolchildren also become direct beneficiaries of school supplies collected through fundraisers sponsored by the outpost. “Our Back-to-School-All-You Can-Eat-Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser is able to raise enough funds each year to help at least 200 children who are in dire need of school supplies,” says Lieutenant Gina Kuahuia, in-charge. “The starter kits may not be much, but it gives them enough supplies to kickstart school.”
The Women’s Ministries program also plays an active role. Every week, its members meet for Bible studies and some members take an extra Bible home to share with their friends and neighbors. Every summer, a vacation Bible school program involves youth who actively participate in helping put together games, crafts and a musical program.