The holiday season is approaching, which means the Kahiau Project is seeking applicants and donations to make this year’s holidays merry and bright for all families on Lanai.
Kahiau means to give generously and lavishly without the expectation of reward. True to its name, the Kahiau Project has been distributing gifts of clothing, new toys and food to families and individuals in need.
“We have been doing the project for 16 years, this will be the 17th year and each year I have at least one parent cry, thanking everyone for the gifts, embarrassed they were not able to buy Christmas gifts themselves,” said Sergeant Kimberly Masse, project coordinator for Kahiau Project. “I am truly touched each year being able to help families in need. This is an important project for our community.”
The pandemic that has impacted everyone over the past 18 months has brought unprecedented change and challenges, making the Kahiau Project an even more important service to the community.
“I am a single mother and cannot afford to buy Christmas gifts for my three children, bills have to come first so we have a safe place to live and food on the table,” shared a past Kahiau Project participant. “The Kahiau project has been so special and I am very thankful for the program.”
How do I apply for the Kahiau Project?
Sgt. Kimberly Masse encourages families and individuals who may need assistance this year to apply.
Two applications are available, one for adult individuals and couples, and another for families with children under age 18. Those with children can also complete a separate wish list for their keiki so donations can be matched appropriately.
Applications can be picked up in the lobby of Lanai Police Station. Please call 808-565-8381 for more info.
How do I give to the Kahiau Project?
If you’d like to support Lanai families in need, the Kahiau Project welcomes monetary and gift donations.
Monetary donations will go toward purchasing household items for families, including senior households.
Please make checks payable to “LCA” or “Lanai Community Association” and note Kahiau Project in the memo section of your check.
Checks can be dropped off or mailed to the police station by December 15:
c/o Maui Police Department — Lanai Police Station
P.O. Box 630626
Lanai City, HI 96763
A tax letter will be sent for all cash donations.
The Kahiau Project’s angel tree returns this year and ornaments will be ready for pickup at the Lanai Police Station starting on October 25th until they are all taken. Each ornament contains a wish list from a particular family, and you can choose an ornament to help fulfill a child’s holiday hopes this Christmas.
In addition to the angel tree items, the Kahiau Project is accepting new, unwrapped toys and gifts for older kids as well as Christmas wrapping paper.
Remember, all donated items must be new and unwrapped. Donations are being accepted through December 17th at Lanai Police Station.
“Through Kahiau, it may be the only way some kids can get the gifts they really want and like, because the parents can only afford practical items like socks or underwear,” said another Kahiau Project participant. “As a single parent this is so helpful to me because I have no financial support from my son’s father. I know without it his Christmas will not be as meaningful.”
100 percent of donations go toward Lanai families, so if you’re able, please “kahiau” this holiday season.