Volunteers Spruce Up Youth Shelter - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Volunteers Spruce Up Youth Shelter

Susan Mulkem Susan Mulkem
Mari Vemeer Mari Vemeer

By Diane Ako & Ed Matthews

OAHU (KHNL) -- Two dozen entrepreneurs spent the day learning to build a business, while also helping to rebuild a life. A workshop for people who want to learn business skills took a field trip to a shelter for homeless teenagers.

More than two dozen volunteers, like Susan Mulkem, scrubbed, scraped, and spackled their Saturday away. "We are part of a group from Hawaii National Bank and L&L Drive Inn. They've decided they want us to set up a community service project and follow through on the cleanup of the carport and the bedroom of a house."

For the painters, it's a marketing project for their class. But for the people who live here, it's an act of caring. Mari Vemeer works at Hale Kipa Shelter. "This is a shelter. The teens that come live with us need a temporary place to live."

The shelter for at-risk or runaway youth needed some work. The volunteers needed class credit. What a nice merger for both groups. Vemeer said, "We felt appreciative that someone would think of coming to help our kids."

Mulkem added, "I hope they'll appreciate the fact that we understand this must be difficult for them to do what they're doing. That we care and are willing to support them as much as with can with our time."

Shelter staff say it'll be a wonderful surprise for the kids to return home and see. Vemeer said she herself was blown away when she saw the difference. "When I walked into the room it was, 'Whoa.' The kids are going to be happy and grateful that people recognize that they're here."

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