Waialua man on a mission wants to send a little aloha to Houston

Waialua man on a mission wants to send a little aloha to Houston

WAIALUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The nation's attention is on Hurricane Irma, but a Waialua man wants to make sure no one forgets about the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

He's taking roadside donations, hoping to send a little aloha from thousands of miles away.

By day, Mark Taleai is a tour bus driver, but most every night after work you'll find him parked somewhere on Oahu with his ukulele in hand.

"Actually it's to get their attention -- eh, what's this guy doing over there," said Taleai.

On his own time after his shift, Mark is taking in donations bound for the victims of Harvey.

"Oh, its been awesome, people been responding with so much aloha," said Taleai.

And its not just in Waialua. He sets up at other locations around the island as well.

Mark gets the word out via social media. And like everyone else, that's where we found him, via his Instagram account.

"I heading to Keehi Lagoon so all you guys downtown, if you like drop off stuff, I'll be there," Taleai said in one of his postings on his Instagram account, @MeanHawaii.

"Helping the Houstonians, Hawaiians for Houston. Thank you guys." he said in another post.

"With a lot of aloha, these guys they DM (Direct Message) me, asking where I'm posting up, they ask for what should they bring."

So far Mark is packing his tour van with lots of blankets, clothing, toiletries, and even cash, collecting just over $300 so far.

And when he runs out of room?

"As soon as I get this bus loaded I'll take it on to the Waimanalo Baptist Church," he said.

From there, he says, it'll be sent to relief organizations in Houston. Mark says the inspiration to do this came from a friend who also held a donation drive.
He decided to take it a step further.

"Out of the goodness of people's hearts, they don't have to do this but they choose to willingly. Its awesome, mean."

Taleai isn't sure how long he'll be taking donations. But he says if you see him, stop by and help make a difference.

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