HONOLULU (KHON2) — The nonprofit organization Our Kupuna was created to help kupuna with basic necessities but since then it has grown into so much more

Hundreds of seniors are now not only getting the help they need but also making friends along the way.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

Honolulu resident William Stempel doesn’t drive and he doesn’t live near a supermarket either.

“Three or four months ago, I injured my back, fractured my spine so it’s almost impossible for me to walk to a grocery store or take the bus,” said Honolulu resident, William Stempel.

Every week, the retired state librarian receives food and other necessities through Our Kupuna.

“If all else fails, a volunteer can come over and get me what I need so that’s a thing of security I’m really grateful for,” said Stempel.

Our Kupuna was created in 2020 when the pandemic started and seniors were staying home much more often.

The program has volunteer shoppers who pick up and deliver groceries to homebound, low-income seniors.

“I want kupuna to be reassured they have someone to check on them,” said Keva Dekay, the program director for Our Kupuna.

So far, Our Kupuna has served 480 seniors with the help of over 480 volunteers. But this has grown into more than just a delivery service.

“We’re starting to create and design online classes for seniors so even if stuck at home, can still engage with the community, so it’s exercise classes, accessible yoga nutrition, arts and crafts,” said Dekay.

Dekay also said if seniors are seeking friendship, “we offer a phone buddy program, for kupuna who want to talk story and just chat weekly we’ll connect them with a one-to-one phone buddy that can call and chat with them.

Our Kupuna also has a pen pal program that allows high school students to write letters to kupuna on a monthly basis.

The program started a referral requirement last year, so new seniors looking for assistance are required to have a professional referral.

“Well I think it’s terrific and I’m glad it’s ongoing. It fills a real need,” said Stempel.

Interested in jewelry heists gone wrong, other strange news? Check out Weird News

If you’d like more information can be found on the Our Kupuna website.