Kupuna and Family Meals volunteer delivery driver Luciana has been with us for almost two years. Due to the pandemic, she retired after 20 years of working at a hotel. She became a customer in 2020 and then answered one of our early calls for help.
"I saw the flyer asking for some drivers, so I go, 'Oh, I'm not doing anything, I'm getting bored,'" Luciana explained. "I didn't want to go back to work, but if I'm volunteering, that means I'm giving."
Luciana's first delivery is to a young woman who has her own business and is very devoted to Touch A Heart. "She greets me with 'aloha' and 'God loves you,'" Luciana said. "She's a very nice, good woman. She goes to events on the mainland, and that's why she's not here all the time. The people that come to the car and get the food are all her relatives, like her brother and mother."
Also among her route is a centenarian who eagerly greets her at the door. "Because I always say 'aloha,' now she's telling me 'aloha,' so that tells me she's still alert," Luciana said.
When asked what her favorite thing about volunteering with Touch A Heart is, Luciana shared the following: "It's the people. The people are so friendly. It's about doing the job of and holding up what Touch A Heart stands for. I love the theme of Touch A Heart. I love it that Touch A Heart is helping young people. That's how come I'm there so long—it's the people and the idea of their mission. I never heard of something like that—helping the local kids out when they come out of prison. They don't know what to do or who to go to and there aren't enough places to go to for help."
Luciana encourages others to give volunteering a try. "For me, I feel like I'm doing it not only for the people; it's for God's blessings. When you bless somebody, the blessings come back to you. I'm blessed all the time. I just love the idea of this program," she said. "Even though I only volunteer once a week, it fills me up for the whole week. I look forward to Wednesdays. One try and you're hooked already. That feeling of everybody all together, working for the same cause—I love that."