KAHALA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Monday will be the start of a new school year for many public school students across the state. For less fortunate children, obtaining the necessary school supplies isn't easy. But many will receive help, thanks to an East Oahu service organization.
There were enough school supplies to fill three SUVs, and fill the hearts of the members of the Rotary Club of Kahala Sunrise.
"Nobody is as generous as those in Hawaii," Amy Herchig, the group's literacy chair, said.
The group positioned itself in front of the Walmart store on Keeaumoku Street for six hours Sunday, and collected new composition books, colored pencils, three-ring binders, and other items to give to students from struggling households.
"There's a tremendous number of kids and families that are financially strapped, particularly in this economy," Herchig said. "They really have to struggle, particularly if they have multiple children."
Herchig knows first-hand what less-fortunate children go through.
"I grew up fairly poor and I think that there's always a little insecurity," she said. "Will I be able to have the supplies that everybody else has?"
The Rotarians will deliver the goods to 11 schools in their area, including Liliuokalani Elementary, Palolo Elementary, and the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. They say it's amazing what a difference a box of crayons can make.
"That emotion that you see little kids have when they get a whole box and it's all their own, it just is a wonderful feeling and that gives us a good feeling," Bill Green, Rotary Club of Kahala Sunrise member, said.
Generous families also donated nearly $800 in cash, which will be used to purchase backpacks and other supplies.
"I think parents were using it also as an example for their children -- how to give to others, how to think outside of themselves -- which was really neat to see," Herchig said.