Following our Reel Rock 11 film fundraising event in which we raised over $2,000. Over 100 total volunteers and donors helped make and serve over 1100 Thanksgiving meals to homeless families, individuals, and animals. This event went live 1 week prior to Thanksgiving, and it brought together so many like-minded people to create something together that is bigger than ourselves - truly the embodiment of The Arch Project's mission.
Thank you to all that supported this event by attending our Reel Rock fundraiser, made donations, or donated their time by food prepping, passing out food or both, to help us make this feed the homeless event a huge success. Because of our volunteers the 1,100 meals made it to almost every part of the island. We reached the homeless population out east (Waimanalo and Kailua), north (Wahiawa, Pupukea and Hale'iwa), west (Ewa Beach and Pearl City), every part in town (Kaka'ako, A'ala Park, Ala Moana Park, Sand Island, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Thompson's Square Park, Nimitz Highway, Bishop Square, City Hall, Manoa, Kapahulu, Old Stadium, Blaisdell Park, Dole Cannery, Pali Highway and Ke'ehi Lagoon) and more.
Although it was a great experience to meet some of the members of our houseless community, hear their stories, and listen to their needs, it was heart wrenching to feel the emotional connection to those families who didn't want to be seen or meet us. We knew they needed our help and we're glad they took food and supplies we left after we walked away. Homelessness isn't a choice for anyone and in many cases the loss of a home results in a loss of dignity and a cycle develops. Although these are just sandwiches we hope it brought a reminder that a part of the world is still on their side rooting for them. We were particularly touched by the number of homeless people caring for animals (every single one was well fed!), showing compassion in their own way. One man said to me that the bond he had with his dogs was the only thing keeping him alive. I think we can do more to help them especially in helping provide health care to both people and animals in these communities.
Those who participated felt equally blessed as those who benefited from their service, and I look forward to continuing to work passionately with you all again soon. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for all those who supported this event and the Arch Project.