'Iliahi - Wahiawa's Giving Tree

December 2016


Click here for Alea Bridge website

Awesome Foundation Oahu is pleased to announce our December recipient of $1,000 to Wahiawa Community Church of the Nazarene, members of the Wahiawa Homeless Alliance and ALEA Bridge for their outreach project  ‘Iliahi – The Wahiawa Giving Tree that was held on December 18, 2016. Awesome Oahu was contacted by "Phil" Augustus Acosta of Alea Bridge. Phil explained to us that this is a community Christmas event that featured food, fun, fellowship and gift giving as our community comes together in the spirit of Christmas to help those who are less fortunate. The idea came from the members of the Nazarene Church who wanted to do something special for our homeless neighbors in the community. Beyond just providing meals and donated items, they wanted to provide a genuine Christmas experience to the homeless that will show how much the community cares about their struggles, and that the residents are committed to helping them through the process of transitioning out of homelessness. 

Wahiawa is a small rural community located in Central Oahu, with a rich and proud history in agriculture, and was once the focal point of the vibrant pineapple industry on Oahu. In the past few years, the Wahiawa community has experienced the largest increase of homeless population in the Hawaii, with a 17.5% increase from last year, and a staggering 123% increase from 2013. With the help of ALEA Bridge and member agencies of the Wahiawa Homeless Alliance, they are working together to address the homelessness issues through open and inclusive participation, and develop coordinated and comprehensive solutions appropriate for the community of Wahiawa. In addition, they want to ensure that all of the at-risk and homeless persons are treated with dignity and respect, and valued as a member of the community. This event helps to bring the community together to establish a support system that addresses the emotional and spiritual needs, as well as build a personal and meaningful relationship, with those that they aim to serve.

Sounds like an awesome project! Awesome's $1,000 went towards providing gifts and meals to the homeless and community members. It also helped cover some of the expenses for rentals of equipment such as tents, tables, chairs, etc., and enhanced the atmosphere with Christmas decor. Awesome Foundation Oahu is thrilled to be spreading Christmas cheer and wishing everyone involved a prosperous 2017.