A Lahaina resident recently made an unusual offer to Maui nonprofits while seeking a worthy cause for a donation from her mother's Donor Advised Fund of the Hawai'i Community Foundation.
One grant applicant, Hale Kau Kau, recognized this as a very good opportunity for its operations. Hale Kau Kau is a meal program in South Maui that daily feeds 80 to 110 people in need onsite at St. Theresa Church. The program also delivers 70 to 80 meals to the homebound elderly, sick and disabled in South Maui.
The Edith Wilhelmina Sherock fund was created by Lois Reiswig of Lahaina in honor of her departed mother. The fund not only offered a grant, but also a sewing machine, a bolt of cloth to use for a special purpose, and the necessary notions to finish the project. Sherock was a lifetime enthusiast of sewing and quilting. Her daughter thought it fitting that the items be put to a good use.
Lois Reiswig celebrated with her mother, Edith Wilhelmina Sherock, on her 91st birthday, six months before her passing.
Every day, Hale Kau Kau serves its guests in a simple, safe and clean environment on the church grounds. But two times a year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the volunteer-staffed meal service pulls out all the stops for an elegant dinner for all who come to the feast.
This year, these holidays will be more festive than ever. The bolt of cloth donated by the Sherock was transformed into 55 bright red tablecloths by volunteer seamstresses. Cid Newberg, one of the founders of the Sew What sewing circle that met for many years at St. Theresa Church, gathered the group to help with this project.
"This elegant touch of bright tablecloths on a special day will lift the spirits of all the people who are in need and who come to Hale Kau Kau for daily meals, and the 200 or so additional guests who join us on these special days," said Program Director Pinky Mendoza.
Reiswig and her husband, Lee, recently visited Hale Kau Kau to tour the kitchen and view one of the newly sewn tablecloths.
"It is the spirit of giving, both by this fund in honor of a woman who strongly believed in charity, and of the volunteers who serve at Hale Kau Kau, that lives on and benefits so many," said Rev. Msgr. Terrence A.M. Watanabe, executive director of Hale Kau Kau. "This time, it will give moments of joy and esteem to the needy in our community on these special days."
"For this spirit that is demonstrated so clearly in our community year-round, Hale Kau Kau is extremely thankful," said Rev. Msgr. Watanabe.