Sixth-grader raises money to help homeless kids

Sixth-grader raises money to help homeless kids

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ka Paalana preschool takes early childhood education to kids at homeless sites and shelters. It's ABCs and basic needs.

"They get a square meal here, a solid meal here. That's where a lot of this money will be going towards," said Danny Goya, program director for Partners in Development.

The organization runs Ka Paalana.  The preschool charges nothing. It survives off grant money, donations, and fundraisers.

That's where Kauilani Nakagawa comes in.

"I'm shooting for about $3,000," she said.

The Kamehameha School's sixth-grader is the force behind a fundraiser Saturday. The money she collects will go to the preschool.

"I learned that Ka Paalana has a need for blankets, canned goods, dried goods, clothes and toys and books," she said.

She recruited the school choir to sing at the event. People paid her to set up their craft booths. She'll dole out door prizes. Not bad for the efforts of an eleven-year-old.

"She's my hero. To be motivated to do something like this is just an amazing story," Goya said.

Toddi Nakagawa said her daughter heard a woman talk about how Ka Paalana helped her family. Kauilani's heart broke and her head said, "do something."

"I don't want her to have any kind of limiting beliefs that something is too difficult or too hard. If you think it can be done, you know it can be done, then there's steps that can be taken to get it done," Toddi said.

The money Kauilani raises will also enable Ka Paalana to assist the parents of its preschoolers.

"The money that I'll donate is going to help them, and Ka Paalana plans to give these people a nurturing environment and use Hawaiian values. So I know that the money is going to be put to good use," she said.

The fundraiser and dinner starts at about 6 p.m. Saturday in Kamehameha Elementary's cafeteria.

Tickets are still available at

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