Group Inspired to Help Homeless - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Group Inspired to Help Homeless

Krista Dusek Krista Dusek
Yvonne Lowe Yvonne Lowe

By Stephen Florino

WAIANAE (KHNL)-  They are haunting images of hawaii homeless being battered by the elements. We have shown images and video of those living on west Oahu beaches struggling against stormy weather. But that report, moved a group of University of Hawaii students and faculty to help those homeless restock much needed supplies.

A plastic bin, tarp, a toothbrush and toothpaste. They may seem like simple, everyday supplies. But for some, they mean the world.

"That, to me, that was God's gift from heaven," said Yvonne Lowe.

Gifts, not from heaven, but from faculty and students at the UH school of social work. Jackie Graessle watched our news, and saw how those living on Leeward Oahu beaches were dealing with the recent weather problems.

"Couldn't get what she said out of my mind," said Graessle. "We did just a small gesture, but as you can see, we didn't even touch the surface of what's needed out here."

"Makes me happy to know that people are out there that do care," said Lowe.

This group cared enough to collect donations from fellow students and local stores. They got enough to pass out the supplies the last two weekends.

"To us, as small as it was, but to them it was a big gesture," said UH student Krista Dusek. "That just shows you how appreciative. They're not looking for hand outs, they're looking for a hand up."

"We don't want no money," said Lowe. "We not even asking for pity. All we asking for is your help, your kokua."

"They really just, are really trying to make better, and do better themselves," said Dusek. "They want to provide for their families, but times are difficult."

On this day, they just got a little better.

The group admits what they did isn't going to solve the problem. But they'd like to do two things -- inspire more people to help the immediate need, and also push for changes on affordable housing in hawaii.

The group raised about a thousand dollars in about a week, and would like to pass out more supplies, and will continue to accept donations.

For more information, contact Jackie Graessle at joclyn@hawaii.edu.

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