Kauai News

The Salvation Army Hanapēpē Corps Seeks Back-to-School Supplies for Keiki

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The Salvation Army is encouraging the Kauaʻi community to support keiki in need to get the supplies necessary for the upcoming school year, with an emphasis that backpacks are in demand.

Kaua‘i area students will return to school on Aug. 1, 2022, after the organization conducts back-to-school supply drives throughout the state in July and August.

Aside from backpacks, the most requested items include colored markers, colored pencils, composition notebooks, crayons, erasers, facial tissue, glue, glue sticks, highlighters, school boxes, paper towels, pencils, pencil pouches, pens (black, blue and red), portfolios, rulers, scissors, small calculators, and wide-ruled binder paper.

According to a press release put out on July 7 by The Salvation Army, officials are pushing the back-to-school drive to avoid the scarcity of school supplies among the island’s districts.


“We encourage our island communities to step up and help our keiki-in-need as families begin preparations for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year,” said Major Phil Lum, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands. “The cost of many items on traditional back-to-school lists can be out of reach for many families and our goal is to help make sure each keiki has the supplies they need to succeed.”

The Hawai‘i Department of Education, or DOE, also highlighted the support of the community in an email exchange with Kaua’i Now, along with the legislative efforts that aim to help families during challenging times.

“The Department looks forward to the new pilot program this year, which will provide our Title 1 elementary schools with free school supplies,” stated DOE officials.


The state’s new pilot program, or SB2893, will subsidize school supplies with federal financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools with high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure educational success.

And although the DOE returned a request for comment regarding the supply drive, the department noted it was not able to provide statistics that indicate the number of students statewide who are reported without school supplies. However, Jose Gonzalez the Salvation Army Hanapēpē Corps Officer stated to Kaua’i Now that no child should struggle to source what they need for class time.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see, everyone comes together for children regardless of income,” said Gonzalez, adding, “I have been a part of The Salvation Army my entire life. My parents were in the same position I was. I grew up experiencing a lot of community programs that help people. It was a big inspiration in my life, so I always keep going forward for my community.”


Hanapēpē is Gonzalez’s first appointment as an officer, and he is excited to work on the frontlines of the neighborhood to keep the Thrift Store open this year.

The Salvation Army Hanapēpē Corps is accepting donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday through July 24. The facility is located at 4465 Puolo Road.

For more information about the Salvation Army Hanapepe, click here.

For more details about The Salvation Army’s various back-to-school supply drives and distributions throughout the state, or to make monetary donations to support the efforts, click here.

Amanda Kurth
Amanda lives in Hanapēpē. She has had a love for newspapers and journalism since she was 12 years old. She attended the University of Oregon where she obtained a journalism degree. She interned at the Hermiston Herald. She has been a Kauai Now contributor since June 2022.
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