Hawaii Air National Guard helps serve up Christmas cheer
By Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz, 154th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 04, 2016
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- With much of Hawaii still asleep early on Christmas morning, a group of Hawaii Air National Guard airmen and their families joined over 200 volunteers at Lanakila Pacific's Meals on Wheels program.
The volunteers were there to help cook, plate, and deliver Christmas day meals to some of Honolulu's citizens in need.
"We (HIANG) serve the state (Hawaii)" said Senior Master Sgt. David Sala, 154th Logistics and Readiness Squadron Material Management Superintendent. "We look at this as an opportunity to give back always, to serve the community."
HIANG members also assisted at last month's Thanksgiving meal effort. This year marks the eleventh year HIANG members and family have volunteered at the meal program.
"We volunteer knowing that the less fortunate will be able to enjoy a hot meal without worries. When you return home from this event, you have a warm feeling knowing that they too can share in the good times." said Sala.
Lanakila Meals on Wheels provides meal delivery to Honolulu's senior citizens and adults with disabilities. According to officials, the program provided almost 260,000 meals to over 2,000 senior over the course of last year. Thanksgiving and Christmas day events each delivered over 700 meals to senior citizens in need.
"About 200 volunteers help with the Christmas meal program." said Lyn Moku, Lanakila Meals on Wheels Program Director. "We could not provide this service without the help of our volunteers, many of whom have volunteered with us for years."
With home a delivery program, group dining program at sixteen locations across Oahu, and a paid staff of only twenty, success of the meal program depends on a steady stream of volunteers throughout the year.
HIANG members' kids were also part of the volunteer effort, manning juice stations and helping with plating.
"Gifts of time, expertise and resources will make all the difference in the lives of our seniors and their families. We cannot do this alone, we cannot leave our seniors alone." said Moku.
This year's Special Hawaiian Christmas menu included Pork Lau Lau, Kalua Turkey and Cabbage, Chicken Long Rice, Sweet Potato, and Haupia.