Oahu community can give back to essential workers

Jesselle Ann Morales

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many essential businesses and facilities have been impacted. Employees from the Hawaiian Humane Society, Ilima at Leihano, and the Queens Medical Center all are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop the community from giving back in different ways.

Senior Living Homes

llima at Leihano is a senior living community located in Kapolei. The facility offers a variety of services, fosters independence, and provides a sense of community and peace of mind for residents and their families.

The facility has felt the emotional impact of this pandemic. They have placed restrictions on many things such as areas the residents are allowed to go to, visiting hours for residents’ families, and much more. Despite these restrictions, the facility has not seen a major shift in the outlook of its residents, and that’s partly due to the positivity they’ve received from the community via mail.

If you would like to pass on positive feelings in the form of messages and illustrations, you can create motivational postcards or letters filled with uplifting messages and pictures. Then, you could mail it to the facility at 739 Leihano St, Kapolei, HI 96707. From there, the employees will distribute the cards to their residents.

“Not all superheroes wear capes” is what truly describes the incredible deeds the employees in the medical field have done through these dark times.

The Queens Medical Center on Punchbowl Street in Honolulu is a facility that has been working through this pandemic. The medical center, like many others, has implemented some regulations such as no more than four people in the elevator at all times, employees wearing face protection during direct patient care, and more.

The community has helped a lot, showing their appreciation in different forms.

“At the beginning of this pandemic we saw a lot of donations from different vendors throughout the island; many were donating PPEs and food to the staff. Those were greatly appreciated!” said Kristel Mae Agpoon, a registered nurse at Queens Medical Center.

She also stated that “it is a community effort–wear your mask, practice good hand hygiene and practice physical distancing when you’re out in public,” meaning we as a community are a part of the solution to this crisis.

Not only can you donate supplies and goodies, but you can also put in the effort to make sure you and the people around you are wearing your masks correctly and are following social distancing guidelines at all times.

Hawaiian Humane Society
As the lockdown dawned on the residents of Oahu, it not only take a toll on the residents, but also took a big toll on the Hawaiian Humane Society, home of many of our furry friends.

The Hawaiian Humane Society has implemented different precautions within the building to protect the animals and employees. Some include limiting the number of people that are allowed on their campus. Also, their adoption program has been changed to be appointment-only. Their staff has invented different ways to provide educational opportunities to our community by hosting virtual events and advertising different activities that families can participate with each other and their pets.

The community has offered a helping hand to our furry friends, the volunteers, and workers in different ways.

“Although it has definitely made things harder, it has also reminded us how important and needed the work we do is. We have also seen so many people in the community try to help in various ways. One example of this is seeing how many compassionate people have opened up their homes to be foster care volunteers to animals in need,” said Anne Mukai, the Hawaiian Humane Society’s Youth Program Coordinator.

The Hawaiian Humane Society has a special program called The Pet Food Bank. This program allows people to donate pet food that will be distributed to families that are in need each Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday of every month. The program currently donates 3,500 pounds of pet food every month, which is double the usual amount they would get before the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

“We are always looking for kind community members to donate dog or cat food to us so we can continue to support these families and try to keep them and their pets together,” Mukai says. “The generosity of people during this crisis is really inspirational, especially when we know how uncertain the future is at the moment.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought some obstacles the Hawaiian Humane Society has had to overcome, the community didn’t hesitate to help out. Donating food, adopting animals, and fostering them are the many different ways we can help out.

It is very clear that the ways to help out essential business and facilities are endless, and it’s just a matter of what we are willing to do.