Leilani Estates family gives back despite losing everything to lava

The Big Give

Ellias and Nicole Kuamoo lived in Leilani Estates in a home they built from the ground up 14 years ago.

It was their dream home with a huge beautiful yard.

But on May 3, the first day of the eruption, they were forced to evacuate.

While they had enough time to grab some prized possessions, the lava eventually took everything.

Yet they still found it within themselves to give back.

“They are true public servants,” said Roxcie Waltjen, the director of Hawaii County’s Parks and Recreation Department, where the couple both work. “When they lost their home in Leilani Estates, within a matter of a week they were back at work, and when I asked them, ‘Don’t you need more time?’ they told me, ‘No, we want to go back. We want to help those going through the same thing.’ So they have a lot of love for Puna and a lot of love for people down there.” 

Instead of worrying about themselves, we’re told the couple put their efforts into helping others.

“It’s the way I was raised, you know? No sense ponder on something that’s already gone,” said Ellias. “But just, you know, try help others going through the same thing.”

Since losing their home, the couple and their children have found a place to live, but it’s still challenging.
Looking back, they tell us the experience of helping others has helped them move forward.

“I think it just helps you heal,” said Nicole. 

Because of their selflessness, the Kuamoo family has been chose as our Big Give recipients. 

On behalf of KHON2, Aloha Petroelum and Aloha Island Mart, they received a years worth of gas.

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