Martin Luther King Jr. Day of ServicePosted by Keli'i Kotubetey on March 14, 2013
On Monday January 21, 2013 over 600 employees and family members of Kaiser Permanente and Hawaii Permanente Medical Group descended upon the ahupua‘a of He‘eia to engage in one massive day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The volunteers were divided between three He‘eia organizations: ~300 people built trails and restored lo‘i with Papahana Kuaola in the upper reaches of He‘eia, ~200 people built and weeded lo‘i with Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi in the He‘eia meadowlands, and ~100 people restored the ancient wall of He‘eia Fishpond along the shoreline. It was an awesome display of coordination, communication, shared movement, and overall vision to make the day happen and have things run smoothly.
Speaking of vision, this whole day happened because of the vision of a Le Jardin high school senior who visited He‘eia Fishpond back in the spring of 2012. She was so moved by her experience at the fishpond and its connection with the entire ahupua‘a that she recommended to her mother, an HPMG employee, that they hold their MLK Day of Service at the fishpond. We couldn’t handle the sheer size of the group by ourselves so we enlisted the help of our friends up mauka and the rest was history. In that one day alone, the volunteers contributed over 2,000 service hours to He‘eia! Mahalo nui.
A special thanks goes out to Richele Thornberg and Joy Arcayan (overall HPMG coordinators), Mark Noguchi and Moumen El Hajji (da food guys), and all the staffers at the three sites who facilitated this great day. We’ll post more pictures as we get them!