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Holidays Made Merrier for Drug & Veterans Court Clients’ Keiki

Posted on Dec 31, 2020 in Featured News, News & Reports
Photo of gifts for children.

These merry elves wait for families to arrive for drive-thru gift pick up, thanks to the generosity of the Aloha Meritorious Program.

Thanks to a generous donation of presents from the Aloha Meritorious Program, the Friends of the Big Island Drug Court was able to provide holiday gifts to over 100 children of Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court clients.

Each child received a large bag of wrapped presents at drive-thru events at the Old Kona Airport Park and the Hilo Civic Center parking lot December 23 and 24, respectively.

The Aloha Meritorious Achievement Program is fiscally sponsored by Friends of the Future, a Hawaii 501(c)3 non-profit corporation located in Waimea. Aloha MAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Native Hawaiian Education Program, serving Kealakehe Complex Schools, and project OLA — Opportunities for Learning and Achievement — serving Konawaena and Kaʻu Complex Schools.

Aloha MAP offers children and youth culturally-relevant academic and cultural learning opportunities designed to reduce summer learning loss, improve student proficiency in English Language Arts and Math, and increase student knowledge in Hawaiian language and culture.

Photo of people loading gifts into car trunk

Santaʻs helpers loaded gifts into the cars of happy families.

Special mahalo to event coordinator Penny Cho; Judge Henry T. Nakamoto; Judge Wendy M. DeWeese; Deputy Public Defender Sheri Tavares; Friends of the Big Island Drug Court Board members Michelle Manalo, Pavel Havlicek, Irene Nagao, and Dr. Katherine May; Big Island Drug Court staff; and all the volunteers at Aloha MAP who spent many hours purchasing, organizing, and wrapping all of the gifts.

Despite the year being very difficult for many, it ended with great joy for these keiki and their families.