The Hawaii LDS North Stake and BYU-Hawaii Service Center collaborated together to clean the Malaekahana bike path for Ho‘omana Service Day on Oct. 21. According to Madison Coon, a specialist at the Service Center, 210 people attended people helped clean the 1.2 mile-long bike path, which she said was the number of people the center estimated would attend.
Coon, a junior from Texas studying accounting, said the goal was to serve and to build relationships between BYUH students and members of the local community.
“The bike path is always hard because it’s so long," she said, “but I feel like it’s rewarding because it’s something that not only we as students use, but also the community. We are helping, and we are trying to make our stay memorable by doing service while we are here.”
Coon shared how cleaning the bike path was hard work and tiring at times as she explained what she had observed from volunteers. “They all looked tired, which is good because that means they all served pretty hard.”
Rebecca Strain, a Title IX coordinator, said her kids commute on the bike path every day to go to school, sod she appreciated the service offered. “That’s their little commute highway, so for us it’s really important because the highway is so fast and dangerous. We appreciate the bike path.
“I run on it a few times a week. I bike to the Kahuku Library with my kids. It’s really nice to have another alternative than driving. It is so pretty too. You can take your time [and] enjoy the scenery.”
While she’s driving, Strain said most of the time she sees groups of friends on the path going to school. “It’s an important part of the community.”
The Ho‘omana Service Day is held once every semester. Student associations must have one service project a semester, and so the day is advertised as a way for them to complete that requirement.
John La‘akea Walters, a freshman from Kailua majoring in business management, helped clean after hearing about the event from the Latin American Club presidency. “I love giving service [and] I love helping others, especially here in the community… I had nothing else to do, so you know I was like, ‘Why not?’ Plus there’s food, so of course I am going to go.
“It’s all good motivation [and] I loved it! It was good to get out there [and] good to meet new people and help the community. This is a way to better ourselves in different ways.”