Hawaii's community unites to support Japan - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's community unites to support Japan

Ivan Lam, Event Organizer Ivan Lam, Event Organizer
Nobuko Miyake-Stoner Nobuko Miyake-Stoner
Minister Larry Corbett Minister Larry Corbett
Kanako Tomoda Kanako Tomoda

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In times of disaster, we really see that the world is one large community, and now as people pull together for Japan, it's no different. Friday, folks in Hawaii wanted to lend their support and send a message to the Japanese that they're not alone.

Faith and aloha came together in two separate places with a common purpose.

One was at the University of Hawaii and another at Central Union Church near Punahou. A U.H. student, who's helped lead the movement to support Japan, Ivan Lam, said, "Through this event, I really see that a lot of people have come together and we've given our aloha to Japan."

Plus, the Senior Minister at Central Union Church, Larry Corbett, voiced his message, "A thought of prayer, love and compassion for the people of Japan." Melodies and prayers rang out as people remembered the tragedy from just a week ago.

One Aiea resident, Nobuko Miyake-Stoner, has family in Japan. Thoughts of family in Japan loom in her mind, "My sister described that all of a sudden, things were falling from shelves, and people surrounding them screaming and crying."

Sounds and sights that pierced the hearts of several University of Hawaii students. Lam added, "For all the UH students who have friends or family in Japan," a vigil for the victims. A sea of cell phones were raised in honor of those who lost their lives. Lam continued, "I see that a lot of people have come together to help us."

Students were spurred to write messages of compassion and fold origami as a symbol of hope. An exchange student from Japan has been in Hawaii since January, and says she's been thankful for all the aloha she's seen in the islands. "So many people are here and they are showing support for Japan. I really appreciate it."

Lam summed it up when he said, "Disasters won't last forever, and aloha will bring us together," and that theme surrounded the evening as dozens pulled together in support of the victims.

These groups have pulled in at least $14,000, and that's just a fraction of the support flooding into Japan from around the world.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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