Shipping out aloha to Micronesia

Barbara Lacaden
Barbara Lacaden
Glenn Wakai
Glenn Wakai

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Even as the old Shriner's Hospital is torn down, it will still be giving back to communities across Micronesia. As care packages in containers are shipped from our state.

Its moving day at Shriner's Hospital. Old or unused equipment is carted out of this building before it comes down, to make way for their new facility.

"This is the last of the hospital we are going to demolish and we're donating surplus equipment that we are not going to use at the new hospital," said Barbara Lacaden, with Shriner's Hospital.

Old exam tables, x-ray view boxes, even furniture are all being packed up and shipped out. This effort keeps our island a little greener, and makes a big impact on countries in Micronesia.

"All of this stuff being loaded into containers would go to our landfill. Instead we are diverting it to countries that could really use it," said Glenn Wakai, with Reach out Pacific.

Why are these old food service equipment and even work desks so critical to many islands in the pacific? Because they have so little to begin with.

"When you go to a hospital in Palau you're asked to bring your own sheets to the hospital. Could you imagine having that situation in Hawaii?" asked Wakai.

Instead the newly constructed Shriner's Hospital is being fitted with brand new high tech medical equipment. But even as the old one is demolished, Shriner's didn't want let anything go to waste.

"Shriner's has a commitment policy to not resell but find organizations that can reuse the equipment we have," said Lacaden.

Reach out Pacific, a local non profit, does exactly that. They have already sent out more than $350,000 worth of surplus medical and educational equipment to Samoa, Guam, and the Philippines. Now these supplies will be sent to Palau and Pohnpei, to make a difference in Micronesia.

"I'm so glad it can be used elsewhere," added Lacaden.

Along with the medical and office supplies being loaded up, there are also school supplies. Including thousands of books loaded onto a pair of containers that will be shipped to Micronesia free by Matson.