Categorized | Featured, Volunteering

Hale Hoola Hamakua receives holiday cheer from Home Depot

Vida, HHH Director of Nursing Paula and Pat pose for a quick picture while decorating HHH’s lobby. (Photo courtesy of Hale Hoola Hamakua)

Special to Hawaii 24/7 by Elena Cabatu | Hilo Medical Center Community Relations Manager

Home Depot in Kona has delivered loads of holiday cheer to Hale Hoola Hamakua (HHH) in Honokaa. On Dec. 10, Home Depot employees spent the day decorating the long-term care facility’s lobby and activities tent.

They also presented gifts to the residents, one of which was a Nintendo Wii gaming system – complete with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort.

Upon receiving the Wii gift, HHH’s Resident Council Member Ellen Tanimoto said, “We never had anything like this before!”

“They (Home Depot staff) did a wonderful job,” said Barbara Thomas, President of Resident Council. “We would love to have them back, everything looks beautiful.”

“Hale Hoola Hamakua’s staff and residents are extremely grateful for Home Depot’s generosity,” said HHH’s Administrator Cathy Meyer-Uyehara. “Our facility is home to our residents and Home Depot has assured the holidays are filled with joy and cheer.”

To set the project in motion, HHH’s Volunteer Service Coordinator Laura DeRose made a simple request.

“I worked with Home Depot while on the mainland, and was very familiar with their history of public support and invited them to get to know us,” DeRose said. “Home Depot pulled together the team and voila! They came and spread their Christmas cheer!

The Home Depot Team of Pat Stark, Rita Rivera, Delia Pierce. Noleen Kuamends and Vida Velasquez arrived mid-morning with a Christmas tree and boxes and bags of decorations and gifts.

Hale Hoola Hamakua hosted a cookout for hospital staff, volunteers and the Home Depot group to kick off the holiday season. The Home Depot Team completed their holiday makeover at 4 p.m. with HHH staff wishing them many thanks and a fond farewell.

Hale Hoola Hamakua facility, originally known as Honokaa Hospital, has served the healthcare needs of the communities of Hamakua, North Hawaii and South Kohala since 1951.

In November 1995, the current facility was opened above the old hospital, to provide long term care services. The facility was renamed Hale Hoola Hamakua (Haven of Wellness in Hamakua) in 1997 to reflect its new focus. In 2010, the Maile Wing was added to the facility to bring the total number of bed up to 77.

Hale Hoola Hamakua is a part of the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a public corporation established in 1996 by the State of Hawaii to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare.

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Vida Velasquez of Home Depot’s Human Services Department, designated painter adds her talent. (Photo courtesy of Hale Hoola Hamakua)

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