Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Day of Giving

Wow! What an incredible day! Beach God and I decided at the last minute to ditch our usual Saturday morning workout for a beach cleanup with two amazing organizations- Surfrider Foundation and Sustainable Coastlines. Beach God and I have long considered ourselves stewards of the earth and have been members of Surfrider for several years now. We jump at every opportunity we can get to help out, especially when it’s so close to home. Today’s selected beach: Bellows in Waimanalo. This particular beach is dear to my heart not only because of its unmatched beauty, but because it is the setting of many of my Grandma’s stories from when she and my grandfather lived here 40 years ago.
Bellows Beach
Bellows Beach

Our focus today was on marine trash- garbage and debris that has washed ashore. We spent several hours combing the beach picking up everything from bits of degraded plastic the size of quarters to entire fishing nets to tires, to toothbrushes. My mood was somber as I picked through debris and noticed a great deal of it was covered in Japanese writing. My thoughts wandered back to almost a year ago when Japan was ravaged by the tsunami. I couldn’t help but wonder what else was going to wash up- bits of children’s dolls and toys, pieces of people’s homes, cars, personal mementos. It was absolutely disheartening.
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Plastic Marine Debris
 At the end of the cleanup, we had collected 1300 lbs of trash. That was not including this truck full of fishing nets.

After a quick shower and change of clothes I headed to Family Promise of Hawaii here in Kailua. Family Promise is a non-profit organization that helps homeless and low-income families achieve lasting independence. Although this volunteer experience was set up through work, I was really looking forward to spending the afternoon here.

Our main focus was the children, who immediately took a liking to us. We spent the afternoon doing simple arts and crafts. It was the most rewarding and stirring experience I’ve had in several years. These children were so eager pure. They watched intently as we showed them how to color paper flowers and decorate their flower boxes. Something so simple brought them (and me) so much joy and satisfaction! I think that spending a Saturday afternoon at Family Promise may become something I do much more often!

To wind down a great day, I headed over to Enchanted Lakes Elementary School for a fundraiser called “Eat Out Kailua.” All I can say is that there is nothing better when you have spent the day working up an appetite than a lineup of local food trucks!


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  2. Awesome day Babuh!
    On a side note:
    Lets try "Beach Guy" or something less righteous.
    luv you, hehe. ;)