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Holy Family ELC Donates New Slippers to the Institute for Human Services

February 5, 2021

Holy Family Early Learning Center Donates 366 Pairs of New Slippers to the Institute for Human Services

Suzanne Carlos, Development Coordinator
Holy Family Catholic Academy and Early Learning Center

Holy Family Early Learning Center (ELC) lead teacher, Ms. Mary McMillin, led her preschool students in a schoolwide Slipper Drive initiative to benefit the Institute for Human Services (IHS).  Students, faculty and staff were invited to donate brand new slippers of all sizes, with a goal of collecting 25 pairs per grade level.  They far exceeded that goal by collecting 366 pairs of slippers in the month of January.  IHS is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive human services agency focused exclusively on ending and preventing homelessness in Hawaii.  Their mission is to create and offer tailored solutions for those in crisis, and nurture homeless people toward greater self-direction and responsibility.  Providing 366 pairs of new slippers to IHS was a great way to kick off the new year and provide support, hope and dignity to those in our community that are most in need.

For the month of January, ELC Lead Teacher Mrs. Chelsea Dean and her preschool students are hosting a Birthday Box initiative to benefit the The Pantry.  Each Birthday Box will consist of a 6-quart clear plastic shoe box with a lid filled with a boxed cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, birthday candles and a birthday card.  Optional additions to the box include a pack of balloons, streamers, and birthday noisemakers.  At the end of the month, all of the Birthday Boxes will be donated to The Pantry, whose mission is to serve the community by developing innovative ways to effectively serve, with dignity and compassion, the daily food needs of a greater number of Hawaii's working people who struggle with food insecurity including children, the elderly, and those who are disabled.

To commemorate their 25th Anniversary, Holy Family Early Learning Center is organizing monthly service projects to benefit the greater community.  To broaden their scope and impact, students and their families from both the ELC (preschool) and Holy Family Catholic Academy (kindergarten-grade 8) are invited to participate.  In August, the ELC conducted a Pet Shelter Towel Donation Drive where they donated 116 towels to the Hawaiian Humane Society.  In September, the ELC conducted a 'Quarter Drive' and raised $1,100 for HUGS Hawaii.  In October, students created over 430 handmade 'Cards of Gratitude' for Hawaii's healthcare workers to express their appreciation for the medical personnel that have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID pandemic.  In November, the school held a canned food drive and donated over 1,300 cans--equal to 1,217 pounds of food--to the Hawaii Foodbank.  In December, over 2,800 diapers, 106 packages of baby wipes, and $50 was donated to the Aloha Diaper Bank.

To commemorate its 25th Anniversary this school year, Holy Family Early Learning Center is welcoming monetary donations from interested donors to support their special projects and enrichment activities including playground improvements, Hawaiiana curriculum and their school garden.  Those interested in donating may contact ELC Director, Mr. Allen Akiona, at (808) 421-1265 or via email at aakiona@hfcahawaii.org.