U.S. Air Force Reserve Comes to Helemano's Aid

Ann Higa
Ann Higa
Philip Watkins
Philip Watkins

WAHIAWA (KHNL) - Administrators at Wahiawa's Helemano Plantation looked to build a elder day care center to serve central Oahu.

Money's tight.

So, they called the calvary for help.

And just like one of those classic movies, the calvary came to the rescue.

It's a work in progress.

In time, Helemano Plantation will have it's own brand spanking new senior day care center.

Expect it to be in high demand.

The latest city projections show that in just three years, 20% of Honolulu's population will be 60 years of age or older.

''And in central Oahu, a lot of plantation families, extended families, they need to have services for grandma and grandpa," explains Helemano Plantation Executive Director, Ann Higa.

Helemano Plantation is a non-profit organization that assists mentally-challenged, elderly, and physically disabled individuals.

The plans had been on the books to build a senior day care center, for some time.

But the high cost put it out of reach.

Enter the U.S Air Force Reserve.

The folks at Helemano placed a call for help with some top brass.

Now, personnel from across the country, fly-in to volunteer.

''We're very, very grateful," says Higa. "The structure would be close to $4 million. But, luckily we have the military coming to help us. We put in for the materials, the put in the labor and without them, we wouldn't be able to do it."

And to hear the volunteers talk about it, Well, it's all in day's work, Ma'am.

''This is a humanitarian effort on our part," says Chief Master Sergeant Philip Watkins. "We traditionally go all over the world to help other peoples with humanitarian effort and it's really good that we stay home and do this, this time."

Staying home to make a better home.

One beam at a time.