“When my Mom, Zelda Kelson (Lainaholo) was admitted to Pōhai Mālama Care Center in 2017, we were so relieved to have the expertise and support of the Hospice Care team surrounding our family,” recalled Anela Kelson. Looking back, If I had a chance to change any part of the services we received from the Hawai‘i Care Choices Hospice Team, I would NOT change a thing,” exclaimed Kelson. I will never forget, during our time of need, Hospice showed us such genuine compassion and kindness. While at Pōhai Mālama, Mom wasn’t talking much, so when she spoke up and said “I want to go home now, -- we knew we had to grant this wish for her to pass at home,” With the help of our Hospice Care Team, we fulfilled her final wish. It was so special and beautiful,” remembers Anela.
Now, years later, during the worst pandemic ever, where sadness and depression due to loss and isolation is prevalent, the Lainaholo Ohana rallied together once again to pass on that same genuine compassion and kindness that was once shown to them. This time to bring a little happiness to Kūpuna (elders) who are lonely from being separated from their families. Anela created the Kūpuna Smiles Project and pulled her large family in Keaukaha together. “By nature, my mom Zelda was such “a giver” and she taught us the importance of that, recalls Anela. Now, along with my sisters, we can teach that spirit of Giving to our keiki too.”
”If I was gonna give this card to my Tutu lady or Grandpa, what would I say?” thought Na’ale and his cousins (pictured). I’d let them know I love them, and miss them. I would draw a nice picture with crayons, watercolors and make it sparkle with glitter like the ornaments on our tree,” said Na’ale DeMattos, 9 years old. “I want my card to make them happy, and make them smile,” declared cousin Nova Nakila, 6 years old.
And so, the Acts of Aloha continue, through the children and grandchildren of the Kelson Ohana, through thoughtful homemade cards with little handwritten notes to Kūpuna, who unbeknownst to them, are being held in the hearts of these keiki! An early lesson in giving -- through Acts of Aloha! Tutu Zelda would be proud!