HONOLULU (KHON2) — An Oahu woman is spending her retirement making people happy.
She cooks and makes crafts and gives everything away to others who need it.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
“I don’t really make a lot of fancy stuff, just simple, Japanese food,” said Joanne Kurosawa.
Always in the kitchen, but not necessarily for herself or her family.
“About once or twice a week, I cook for my elderly neighbors,” she said.
For years, she’s been cooking all types of dishes and giving her food to her neighbors. She makes everything from bentos to pastries.
“Well actually, I didn’t really know how to cook but I learned a lot from him,” she said.
Kurosawa is talking about her late husband, John.
“Actually, my husband who passed away about five years, ago, he kind of started it, he used to cook for other people. So kind of like taking over what he used to do,” she said.
Taking over his tradition, of giving back.
“Even my husband told me, when you cook, you have to put your heart into it, don’t just cook, otherwise it won’t taste good,” she said.
The 79-year-old donates in other ways too. Kurosawa makes beanie hats for newborns and gives them to the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. She also makes kitchen scrubbies and calendars for friends and family.
“For myself, I don’t like to sell things. I just want to do for other people because it makes me feel good,” she said.
Kurosawa worked as a secretary for the University of Hawaii for nearly four decades, before retiring 14 years ago. When she has a spare moment, she also practices sumiye, or Japanese ink painting. But much of her free time is spent, helping others.
“If you do things for other people, you’ll feel good too,” she said.