Grassroots group seeks donations and dignity for homeless

Grassroots group helping the homeless with "Valoha"
Published: Apr. 28, 2016 at 9:02 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 28, 2016 at 10:49 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last month, Christina Bush and a handful of helpers held an all-day event in Neal Blaisdell Park in Pearl City to help the homeless.

Dozens of bags of food and clothing were handed out.

"People left with resumes. They left with new hairstyles. They left feeling so good," she said.

Bush and her band of eight volunteers call themselves the Valoha Giving Movement. The "v" stands for "value," as in the value in every human being.

"You name it.They're out there. They are so full of skills that we don't even realize," Bush said.

Bush started helping those down on their luck after going through a tough time herself. She lost her job as a college counselor, and decided to go to homeless camps to offer help. In January, she started Valoha.

"We don't go down and just give food and pat them on the back and tell them everything's going to be okay. We want to teach them that as a member of this community they need to give back," she said.

She estimates that since the start of the year, Valoha has helped about 200 homeless people fill out resumes and passed out more more than 600 care packages.

Others who help the homeless now call on the group.

"We have our boxes organized, ready to go. If someone says, 'Hey, we need women's size medium clothes,' we bring it down usually within 48 hours," Bush said.

The group has boxes of clothes in a large locker at Hawaii Self Storage. The donations are from all over, including through Valoha's Facebook group.

Valoha volunteer Corrie Key said she's been blown away by the kindness she's seen offered to strangers.

"Every single day more people are asking, 'Can I help? How can I help? What can I give? I have this, please come pick this up,'" she said.

Bush said the group's original mission centered on the homeless, "but we've gotten so much stuff that we've even started to help the needy."

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