Salvation Army Home League volunteers focus on community events and outreach
LAHAINA – The Salvation Army Lahaina Lighthouse is composed of a dedicated corps behind its gates at 131 Shaw Street. On the outside, it appears to be just a thrift storefront; however, the roots at the outpost run deep.
According to its website, the corps is “one of 45 Salvation Army social service agencies strategically placed throughout the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands.”
Their motto of “heart to God and hand to man” is put into action every day, changing lives, to transform our community and remain a steadfast beacon of hope for those in need in Lahaina and the surrounding areas.
The Home League is a Salvation Army volunteer branch of committed people gathering together weekly to share the fellowship and join hands to nurture an awareness of the needs of West Maui.
The elected secretary of the Home League is Aranda Kahaiali’i. She has also served as the corps’ lead homeless case manager for seven years.
“My parents are the pastors here at Salvation Army. My mother is the retired envoy, Vidella Nagasaki, and my father is the current envoy, Kevin Nagasaki,” Aranda advised.
It’s a family affair. Aranda’s daughter, Joanne, and extended family members, Rhonda Pali and daughter Amanda Cruz, are listed on the league roster.
The dedicated group meets every Tuesday in the morning at 10 o’clock, concentrating on community events and outreach, delivering food bags or boxes to the seniors and homeless, Aranda noted.
“We organize the senior and homeless luncheons for the holidays. That entails the planning of the meals and decorations, soliciting raffle gifts and door and table prizes.
“During the holidays, we make ornaments and arrangements. We do a lot of crafts and crafting.
“We go to Lanai every couple of months and play bingo with the senior citizens; that’s lots of fun,” the mother of three added.
On the second Tuesday of each month, the league hosts the popular “Bag Sales.”
“Now we’re making face masks,” Kahaiali’i added. “We’re trying to make as many masks as we can.”
The Tuesday assembly line in the chapel is an awesome watch with Vidella Nagasaki leading the troops through Mask Making 101 for protection against the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
The retired envoy is proud of her record thus far during the pandemic.
“My count was over 150 in my last report to the Salvation Army. Since then, I think I am pushing well over 250. After today, let’s go over 350! We can do it!”
“The masks are not for sale,” Vidella stressed. “Everything except my sewing machine and scissors were donated. All this fabric and stuff was donated. I will not sell things that were given to me.”
For a free face mask, call 661-8827.
The Home League is a coed society, open to all. It is composed of an eclectic mix of delightful people – “no matter what age, no matter what sex, whatever your preference, please come as you are,” Aranda invited.
Vidella added, “We are open to anybody from any church. Doesn’t matter what your religion is.”
Aranda is a Home League advocate. “I like being involved with an organization that is truly about love, about family, about taking care of each other,” she said.
Pali was matter-of-fact about her commitment the past 12 years: “I do it, because it keeps me out of trouble. It makes me stop what I’m doing, thinking about myself and how I’m gonna take care of all my issues, and just stop and do something for other people.”