A principal’s call for donations to help students grows into a community effort to feed thousands

Updated: Apr. 28, 2020 at 5:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A room at Farrington High School now serves as a collection point for non-perishable food items, paper goods, and other products destined for families struggling amid the pandemic.

“We understand and we’re cognizant that a lot of people are out of work. We want to make sure that we try to help them out as well,” Principal Al Carganilla said.

He said 60% of his school’s students come from low-income families, and it’s even higher at other public schools in his complex. Those families are hurting.

"I just thought, 'You know what? Let's do something for the community.' Never thought it would turn out like this," he said.

He posted a letter on his Facebook page asking for donations. To his surprise, they came pouring in.

He named the effort Project HOPE after the school’s motto, “Helping our people endure.” The effort involves all of the public schools in the Farrington complex.

"All our feeder schools just jumped on board. Now we're just getting stuff from everywhere," Carganilla said.

In just a few weeks, Farrington received more than $30,000 in monetary donations and hundreds of pounds of food and other goods from numerous organizations, including the Hawaii Foodbank.

"There's so many people that want to help. So many organizations. So many companies," said Geraldine Migita, president of the Assistance League of Hawaii.

On Saturday at 1 p.m., the school will hold a drive-through distribution.

"They're going to enter through our auditorium gate. We're going to have five tents for distribution. We're going to give out a thousand care essential packages for families in need," Carganilla said.

He said the packages will be handed out one per car and you don’t have to be a part of the Farrington family to receive one.

"We welcome anybody who's in need," he said.

The response to Carganilla’s plea is so great that the school is making plans for a follow-up drive.

If you’d like to make a donation, contact Farrington High School at 305-5012.

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