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No pay, but service is priceless

NUKOLI‘I — Dorothy Kunioka said they started it all Friday during the annual recognition ceremony presented by the Kauai RSVP and the Agency on Elderly Affairs Friday at the Kauai Beach Resort.

Kunioka was honored for her 30 years of service with the Kauai RSVP program. Her husband Robert Kunioka was also recognized along with six other individuals for 20 years of volunteerism.

The recognition ceremony was an opportunity for volunteers to take a break from their respective routines and spend time celebrating the holidays with lunch and a host of activities including entertainment from The Toki Brothers whose third brother joined the group from Arizona.

Donna Olivas-Kaohi, RSVP director, Agency on Elderly Affairs, said the service hours over the past 12 months are valued at $855,980.

“That’s almost a million dollars because of the service you do,” Olivas-Kaohi said. “It is quoted that volunteers don’t get paid — not because they’re worthless, but because they are priceless. Because of you, critical needs are met in our community every day.”

She said 6,776 meals were served in the Westside community at the Hanapepe Salvation Army; Lihue Lutheran Church’s volunteers packed 4,800 mobile munchie meals that were delivered to Boys &Girls Clubs, Nana’s House, Child Protective Service, Kapaa Headstart, Lihue Town Court, and the Kauai Economic Opportunity homeless shelter.

Potentially, 4,000 lives were saved through the Blood Bank of Hawaii blood drives, and during the past tax season, AARP tax aides helped file returns amounting to $254,851 in federal and state tax refunds.

Volunteers help at the Kauai Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore that generated revenue that, in one year is equivalent to providing five families with a new home.

National Tropical Botanical Garden volunteers protect unique and rare plants by educating the community and help propagate 7,000 endangered plants that are to be planted in the forests. Other volunteers share the island’s history and culture at the Kauai Museum and at the Grove Farm Museum.

“Volunteers themselves may not reap financial gain, but through your service efforts, you benefit by having a positive attitude, making friends, and learning new skills,” she said.
Source: The Garden Island

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