Kupuna Caregiver: Volunteer donates the gift of time

Kupuna Caregiver

HONOLULU (KHON2) — “My parents always taught me the importance of caring for people, sharing time with others, and just trying to make people happy,” says Lisa Ito, Lanakila Meals on Wheels Volunteer.

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Lisa Ito has been making our kupuna very happy as a volunteer at Lanakila’s Meals on Wheels Program and has worked with other non-profits for the past 14 years.

“Unfortunately, my mother passed away a few years ago. I think that’s what really pressed the button for me, especially with the seniors and spending time with them. And for me the best part of about it is providing the companionship to the kupuna. Never did I realize or think that it would become so personal and the relationships you develop with a kupuna,” says Ito.

One very special relationship is with her good friend’s 90-year-old mother, who she calls Grandma Ishida. “So I go every Tuesday afternoon and spend the afternoon with her to break the routine in her care home. She always likes to play cards before so that’s what we do. We sit down and play cards and I think it’s good for her. It keeps her sharp because she has to count, strategize, and she always wins by the way,” laughs Ito.

Ito also offers this advice for anyone who’s struggling during this holiday season.

“There’s a lot of resources out there, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think it’s natural for people to not share their worries, not to seek help, but I think it’s important to just ask for help. Especially during the holiday time, if you haven’t reached out to a family member or a friend, this is the perfect time to do it and stay safe,” says Ito.

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