Na Hoaloha “Go Go” volunteers donate thousands of hours to serve Maui homebound seniors.
On any given day throughout the year, there are Na Hoaloha volunteers driving a homebound senior, making a visit or helping family caregivers — with a mission to help Maui’s kupuna remain independent and stay in their homes for\ as long as possible.
Growing old in Hawai’i can be a positive experience. Life expectancy is greater than in any other state, and we stay healther longer. For those embedded in the ‘ohana way of life, volunteering is natural part of growing old. A Hawaii Community Foundation says that 57 percent of adults ages 50 to 75 volunteered in the past six months statewide. In the past year, Na Hoaloha volunteers on Maui have contributed approximately 28,000 hours and have driven 61,000 miles — services valued at approximately $620,000.
Na Hoaloha’s “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” brings volunteers and the homebound together. “Our volunteers are “Go Go” seniors,” explains Candice Carter, executive director. “More seniors are healthier than ever before and continue to remain active, so we affectionately group people\ by activity level: ‘Go Go’ are healthy and active, ‘Go Slow’ are ones beginning to slow down and ‘No Go’ are homebound that need substantial assistance to remain in their homes.”
The majority of Na Hoaloha “Go Go” volunteers are 60 and older; some are in their 80s and helping others who are much younger. At 83, volunteer Irene Oficial is full of life, energy and kindness. She is helping younger seniors get to their doctor appointments, pick up medications and buy food.
Irene came to Na Hoaloha when she was 80 and had never before volunteered. When asked why she reached out to Na Hoaloha, Irene said she didn’t want to stay home. She enjoys being around people and wants to help others. At first, she volunteered as a caregiver, giving respite for families who provide around-the clock-care for their loved ones. Irene is no stranger to caregiving; she took care of her own mother.
Because she loves to drive, today Irene is a Na Hoaloha “Aloha Cruisers” driver (10 of whom are in their 80s) and on the road two or three days a week driving a homebound elder couple. When she talks about her volunteer work, she sparkles.
If you have a few hours a week to help keep our Maui kupuna in their homes, please volunteer with Na Hoaloha. Helping your neighbors can make a world of difference in someone’s life — ESPECIALLY YOURS.
Na Hoaloha — Wailuku, Maui
808-249-2545 | www.nahoaloha.org