Smiling Faces at Moloka‘i’s Friendly Places

Senior programs on Moloka‘i are provided by a wide range of nonprofits. There is no designated “senior center,” but a number of facilities welcome program providers. The Moloka‘i Rural Health Community Association (MRHCA) is one such provider. Its Kupuna Program was established post-COVID with funding from Maui County’s Office of Economic Development and Office on Aging to promote overall health and wellness. Program Manager Ku‘ulei Arce describes MRHCA as a “one-stop place that aims to help kūpuna live a well-rounded life.”

Playing Music for Fun & Friendship

Back in 2017, just after retiring to Moloka‘i, I stumbled upon a group of kūpuna having a lot of fun. Seated around tables at the Coffees of Hawaii plantation store, they were playing ‘ukulele and singing, much to the delight of onlookers. One gentleman in the audience on a group outing from the local retirement home leapt up and picked a partner before dancing to the tune.

Finding Balance and Joy in Your Life

Some things are universal to the human race. The night sky is one of them, for we can all look up and feel connected to the moon and stars. Perhaps we have even placed a lost loved one there in the firmament and look to them for guidance when times are tough. In her recent memoir, Under a Full Moon and a Guiding Star, Lani Almanza shares the wisdoms she learned while caring for her youngest son Jacob, who passed away in 2005, from cancer, at age 22.

Pickleball: A Hole Different Ball Game

Pickleball: A Hole Different Ball Game

Few places can outshine Hawai‘i when it comes to healthy outdoor activities. The weather and the environment provide countless opportunities for exercise, whatever your fitness level. Canoe paddling challenges the physically fit, just as a short walk in a park or on a beach might challenge someone who has mobility issues. One sport that welcomes all fitness levels is pickleball.

Creating Resilience

The Institute for Human Services (IHS) has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a ministry distributing peanut butter sandwiches to those sleeping on the streets of Chinatown in the late 1970s. The team Connie Mitchell put together after joining IHS in 2006 can be justly proud of how the nonprofit tackles the many challenges faced by the unhoused.

A Journey of Compassion, Empathy & Courage

A common thread runs through a tapestry of three stories in the September-October 2022 issue of GENERATIONS MAGAZINE. Having experienced the caregiving role themselves, Savina Makalena, Gary Simon and Gary Powell all saw the need to support individual caregivers and the various entities involved in providing that support. And seeing that need, they all decided to help fulfill it, each in their own way.

My Heart’s Song

The compassion at the heart of Ginny Tiu’s advocacy for those who have no voice is a great source of joy in her life. Her God-given talent as a piano prodigy at age 5 gave her the opportunity to travel the world, where she witnessed heartbreaking poverty and harsh inequities, calling her caring nature to action during a lifetime of humanitarian and animal welfare efforts.

Molokai Arts Center

The day I visit the Molokai Arts Center, Betty West is teaching a kūpuna ceramics class. Betty was one of the founders of the center, which grew from an idea discussed at the local pizza café by locals — mostly seniors — who felt the island needed a place to nurture the arts. Between 2010 and 2012, the group incorporated as a nonprofit, raised funds and applied for grants, and were offered a home on the property of Coffees of Hawaii in Kualapu‘u.

New Support for UH-Mānoa Athletes

If you attend any sports events involving the University of Hawai‘i’s Rainbow Warriors or Wahine, it soon becomes obvious that local kūpuna are among their most avid supporters. From attending home games, to donating to booster clubs, to picking thousands of flowers to make lei for the Women’s Volleyball Team, Hawai‘i’s seniors are with the athletes every step of the way.