HONOLULU (KHON2) — Laulima Day Assembly, is back in full swing post-pandemic at Ma’ema’e Elementary School. The only thing better?

The entire school gathered together again to celebrate the true holiday spirit.

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Yes, with Santa, but it’s the spirit of giving. It’s also the day students drop off the donated gifts they bought. Some with money they earned by doing chores all for children they don’t even know.

Fourth grader, Leah Hayasaka said, “I think that every child deserves a present.”

“We just looked around for something we thought would be good so we chose a little Mario plushie with a blanket,” said Hayasaka.

She continued, “So I thought maybe it would be good cause it could get cold cause it’s winter season now. So they can just snuggle up and hug their pillow.”

Fourth grader, Kitana Travis said, “When I help donate to them I just hope that they can feel happier because times were really tough this year so I hope my gift can help them less worry about what might happen.”

Matt Nakamura, Ret. Ma’ema’e Counselor said, “I think it’s something that all of our parents instill in our kids even before they start school. Just to be kind and help out others and that it is better to give than to receive, that’s the bottom line.”

After 30 years here, Nakamura retired as a school counselor a couple of years ago. He’s spearheaded decades of these Laulima days.

Nakamura, “I’m so happy that it’s continuing. Kids, our families, are the greatest in terms of having at the aloha spirit and helping out others so I’m very happy to see that Laulima is still going.”

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Kitana said, “One thing I learned from participating in the Laulima Giving Program each year is that when I donate I know that I can help make a small difference in the world by donating to children who might not be able to celebrate the holidays like how I can.”