In Calendar, Community Outreach, Education, Events, Kauai Division, Lifestyle, Malama Pono

The United Public Workers Union (UPW, AFSME LOCAL 646 AFL-CIO) is spreading a little holiday cheer through their first-ever “Blue-Collar Christmas” event this December in Hilo, Hawaii, and Lihue, Kauai. The holidays can be an overwhelming time for children in need. Together with their families, UPW aims to make the holiday season brighter for more than 80 children residing in the Hawaii Island foster care system or victims of trauma and abuse.

“A Blue Collar Christmas” is a holiday event hosted by UPW in partnership with local organizations to serve keiki who are enrolled in programs under Catholic Charities of Hawaii. This year we selected the islands of Kauai and Hawaii to perform community outreach where our members; live, work and play. This event targets foster youth, therapeutic foster youth and other children who are often victims of trauma and abuse, and other kids who may reside in the same household. The selected children and their families will enjoy arts and crafts activity stations, a photo booth, and prize drawings. The day will culminate in a joyous surprise visit from Santa Claus carrying a bag full of presents!

Member volunteers shopped the children’s wish list for gift items, including a new Bike, Lego Building Blocks, a Fuji Film Instant Camera, BlueTooth speakers, and a robotics kit. The purchases were made possible through the generous donations of UPW and community members statewide.

UPW State Director Kalani Werner says this is a cause near and dear to his heart. He says thank you to the YMCA, Catholic Charities Hawaii, and UPW members for their generosity. “The donations, the volunteers, and the overall outpouring of love from our communities helped to make this event a success,” said Werner. “Together, we are healing the hearts and minds of children who have survived unthinkable experiences and those living through the uncertainty of a temporary placement in our foster care system.”

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