2 Kamehameha Schools Hawaii students distribute care packages

  • Courtesy of KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS Elysa Abellera, left, and Sarah Imai pose with some of the Bundles of Aloha while delivering care packages Tuesday to Ka’u Hospital.

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Sarah Imai, left, and National Guard member Dickson Dechoso unload care packages Wednesday at the Hilo Hawaiian. Imai and Elysa Abellera put together a program to hand out care packages to the National Guard and Ka‘u Hospital patients and employees.

Two Kamehameha Schools Hawaii seniors spent the days before Thanksgiving distributing 181 care packages to the Hawaii National Guard and Ka‘u health care workers and patients.

For their Senior Legacy Project, best friends Elysa Abellera and Sarah Imai put their heads together and found a way to honor some of the people in their lives with their project, Bundles of Aloha.

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“We wanted to give back to the community somehow by doing something close to our hearts,” Abellera said. “Sarah’s father is in the National Guard, and I have several family members and my grandfather staying at the Ka‘u Hospital, so we thought it would be nice to do something for them.”

On Tuesday, Abellera, Imai and the Bundles of Aloha team traveled to Ka‘u Hospital to give out 33 care packages to nurses and certified nursing assistants and 18 to kupuna staying in the hospital.

“It was heartwarming going to the hospital. Everyone was so thankful,” Abellera said. “It was also the first time I’d seen my grandfather in months, so that was special for me.”

On Wednesday, the students gave out 130 care packages to members of the Hawaii Army National Guard staying at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

The bags were full of hygiene products, personal protective equipment, handmade art, nonperishable snacks and other clothing and hair accessories.

All items were purchased or donated by local businesses, family and friends after Abellera and Imai sent out 83 donation letters.

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“We really just wanted to thank the community as much as we could for everything this year,” Abellera said. “We thought doing this before Thanksgiving would be the perfect time.”

Email Kelsey Walling at kwalling@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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