Christmas Comes Early For One Homeless Shelter

Bernie Salvador
Bernie Salvador

KAKAAKO (KHNL) - Christmas came early tonight for hundreds who live in the Kakaako homeless shelter.

What was really neat about this event was that it was only put together in the past two weeks.

And it was the brainstorm of one woman who couldn't stand to see Santa pass by the kids at the shelter.

Musicians and dancers performed for the crowd. Tonight these families enjoyed uplifting entertainment.

This entire Christmas celebration was Bernie Salvador's idea, "I put it together in two weeks, sent out e-mails and called a few people and the response was amazing."

Residents enjoyed a Christmas feast.

More than one thousand Hawaiian Airlines employees helped to bring the Christmas spirit to the shelter.

Salvador says she feels, "Happy and sad. Happy because so many employees came out and participated and sad that we have to even do something like this, that conditions are so bad, so many homeless."

Employees were so generous all 90 kids who live here got three Christmas presents each.

Hawaiian's President and CEO Mark Dunkerley adds, "It's about the employees of Hawaiian Airlines that come together to make something special for the most needy people in our community and at Christmas time they are the ones we should be thinking about."

Some kids told Santa they wanted new bicycles. And Santa delivered.

Others got basketballs and games.

Dunkerley reflects, "Each and every day most of us have stress and strain and things we have to worry about. But the reality is we are all very lucky compared to the people who don't have homes in our community and taking time and resources to help the least privileged in our community is really what we think Christmas is all about."

The adults received gift cards.

There was so much Christmas spirit in Kakaako tonight. Bernie Salvador and her team proved that Santa would never skip the kids in a homeless shelter.