Photo: Rep. Tommy Waters urges community members to "help us help the homeless." Barbara Guss, a Lanikai resident, stopped by the Capitol during her lunch break to drop off a box of donation items.
Rep. Tommy Waters (District 51 - Lanikai, Waimanalo) tried something different this year; something that just might become the new trend during future Opening Day festivities.
Instead of only providing a lunch buffet for his constituents after the Opening Day ceremonies, Rep. Waters used yesterday as the debut of a two-week donation drive to benefit Weinberg Village, a homeless shelter in Waimanalo.
"Opening Day for me at the Capitol has traditionally involved staff, lobbyists, and community members gathering in my office for refreshments and conversation. This year, I decided to something a little different, and look at what I could do to benefit the needy in my community," Rep. Waters said.
In letters to constituents, Rep. Waters asked community members who wanted to donate items to stop by his office between Jan. 16 – 30 at the state Capitol, Room 302.
Yesterday, Rep. Waters' office set up a large table full of colorful floral boxes and signs announcing the kick-off of their donation drive. The friends, family, lobbyists and constituents who visited Rep. Waters' office on Opening Day brought in a total of three boxes full of items, including shampoo, paper towels and canned goods.
"We were optimistic that people would feel the same way we did, and would participate in the drive. So far, the generosity of the people in my community has exceeded my expectations," said Rep. Waters.
Weinberg Village is always accepting canned goods, but currently is in need of paper goods and toiletry items such as napkins, diapers, body soap, laundry soap, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper.
Weinberg Village provides shelter for homeless families with children under 18 years old and families at risk of becoming homeless. Some of the services provided include direct referrals, transitional housing, educational classes, counseling, on-site preschool, and food & nutrition classes.