Giving is music to the ears of Oahu students

Ken Billings
Ken Billings

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Giving really is music to the ears of Hale Kula Elementary students. After 25 handmade ukuleles were stolen from their school over the Labor Day holiday, donations have been pouring in.

From a 500 dollar check to an almost brand new concert Kamaka ukulele, the school says the amount of support has been overwhelming.

Hale Kula fourth graders try to keep their spirits high after 25 of their handmade Kamaka ukuleles were stolen, but many, including Ken Billings hope thieves don't get the best of this bunch.

"An instrument needs to be played, especially one of that quality, so I thought, why not make a donation to the school," Billings said.

Billings had an almost new concert Kamaka ukulele sitting in his closet. He didn't play it because he got too busy and his fingers aren't as nimble as they used to be.

"They were very thankful and I felt really good, being able to do one small thing, one person doing one small thing, you never know," he said.

Along with the ukuleles, thieves also stole jars of coins that the students collected. Billings couldn't believe it and added that to his donation.

"So I scurried around and gathered all my change, I found a half full jar full of nickels, dimes and quarters and hopefully it was more than they ever lost," he said.

At first, Billings says he didn't want to be interviewed for this story, but after some thinking, he felt maybe others might see it and give as well.

"When you give, good things happen all around," he said. "I feel good, they feel good, it's just one small thing, but many small things could create a big thing."

This isn't the first time Billings has donated something to schools. He gave a few pair of shoes to the Nanakuli High School track team and just recently, he gave them a couple more pairs.