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Being Thankful For Those Who Serve The Community

WO-112713-Kidani

Kidani’s Korner…Sen. Michelle Kidani

Philippines Typhoon Relief

We all have been saddened by the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan as it passed over the Philippines. The news coverage has been heartbreaking as we see the terrible losses suffered by so many.

The tragedy has hit close to home for so many families here in Hawaii who may have emigrated from the area or who still have family members living there.

Because of those strong connections, it’s all the more urgent that we participate in the relief and recovery effort as quickly and directly as possible. Many organizations have stepped forward to help facilitate aid. Aside from American Red Cross, which always is prompt and thorough in its emergency assistance, Hawaii banks and other locations and businesses are drop-off points for donations.

Benefit sales of various kinds are under way and at least two benefit concerts are scheduled next month.

We are proud to say that much of the activity in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon focused on our very own Filipino Community (FilCom) Center in Waipahu. I urge you to visit the center to see how donations made through FilCom can be multiplied by matching funds from Consuelo Foundation. The foundation will match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $2 million. Visit filcom.org for details.

Because of the magnitude of need, relief efforts will continue over the next several months. We are grateful for all of these truly heartfelt demonstrations of Hawaii’s aloha spirit.

Good wishes for Thanksgiving

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, most of us are fortunate to have family and friends and safe and secure homes for which we can give thanks. But that is certainly not true for everyone, and we must be mindful of those in need and consider ways that we can help.

All of us should keep in mind the humbling words that a friend passed along recently. He spotted it at a craft fair where someone was selling signs with smart, funny and inspirational quotes. One sign said: The things we take for granted, someone else is praying for.

Be thankful for vibrant communities where people truly care about the well-being of their neighbors; for those who serve in uniform whom we honored in Veteran’s Day ceremonies earlier this month; for teachers, whose tireless investments of time and talent nurture our future leaders; for health care workers, whose strength and skill are priceless in times of crisis.

On the horizon

The 2014 session of the Legislature will convene in just seven weeks. Lawmakers will be preparing for it with numerous briefings and hearings. I invite your suggestions about how state government can be more responsive to our district’s needs.

Contact my office at 586-7100, or email me at SenKidani@Capitol.Hawaii. gov.

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