Months after the devastating fire, Sacred Hearts students help impacted families
LAHAINA – Following Hurricane Lane’s fiery hit on Lahaina the night of Aug. 24, Lahaina Strong was born – a multitude of West Side forces joining together to help heal our crippled community.
It was a legendary union, unlike no other experienced in recent times. With the giving grace an ongoing collection, Sacred Hearts School (SHS) has recently added its share to the offering.
Crysta Kosianowski, leader of the SHS Parent Teacher Guild, explained, “The weekend after the devastation, many parents and families couldn’t sit at home and do nothing, so we went and helped countless volunteers, collected donations, sorted and felt a need to do something that could help the families affected.”
The gifting didn’t stop there; a “$5 Friday Free Dress” day was initiated. Students paid the fee to have the privilege of replacing the school uniform on four Fridays, donning fashionable alternatives and earning a total of $1,680.
Not to be outdone, parents and teachers joined the Lahaina Strong corps.
“Alexis Merrill, seventh grade math teacher at Sacred Hearts, was inspired and designed a logo with the mountains and the iconic ‘L’ standing proud, reading ‘Be Lahaina Strong’ on the mountain,” SHS Principal Dr. Miguel Solis added.
The logo was screened on tea towels and sold at the school’s Family Fun Night and Chili Cook Off. With the $710 collected, gift cards from Safeway, Home Depot and cash cards from Costco were purchased.
A select group of students delivered the bounty to the Waiola Church Resource Hub on Nov. 8 to Jen Mather.
“Every single cent donated to the families has helped them to rebuild and to feel connected to their community. The families not only get financial assistance or supplies, they also feel loved and supported,” Mather advised.
“The students of Sacred Hearts School have been immensely philanthropic,” Mather continued, “months later, after everyone else has returned to normal and the immediacy of the disasters has lessened.
“But while these families are still rebuilding and living the devastation each day, these children have ensured the momentum of love and care has not waned. I could not be prouder of them and know the future of our community is in good hands.”
SHS parent Alex McCarney was like-minded in his assessment.
“Sacred Hearts has been a place of refuge and peace for so many members of our community. It’s important to teach our students the value of spreading good will and peace to our neighbors when they are in need.
“The fires created such an intense feeling of loss and despair; we wanted our students to be a part of counterbalancing those harsh realities. Coming together after a crisis and putting our energy towards helping others is part of the value system we believe in and want to share with our community through our students,” McCarney observed.
“Hope pours out into the community through thoughtful actions,” Dr. Solis described.
“Sacred Hearts has not forgotten that fearful night with the glowing mountain creeping closer and changing the landscape. But as leadership in the school continues to grow, the school and its families are ready to act on service, reassuring Lahaina that it will not be defeated.”