Stories of Aloha

Love it when the morning news has a better balance of good stories than bad.

One story today was on the ground-breaking for construction of a new hospital wing at Castle Hospital on O‘ahu. The redesigned patient rooms of the wing will be enlarged for the new technology that surrounds hospital beds (today hospitals can offer way more than that swing table for your meal) translating to greatly improved patient care. The story of aloha is that $300,000 of the construction budget was contributed from assorted fundraisers held by hospital employees wanting to do their part to make it happen. How great is that! Aloha for their patients, aloha for their employer.

Story two was on second-grade teacher Diane Kato at Alvah Scott Elementary being recognized as Teacher of the Year by WalMart with a $10,000 contribution to the school’s educational funding. The coverage done on the recognition event at Alvah Scott for Kato was heart-warming; the school’s auditorium was filled to the brim with an aloha that simply radiated from the TV screen.

WalMart gets a lot of heat: some may be justified, some comes with the territory (a path they chose, risks and all), and some is because it’s too easy for others to take shots at the Big Guy. Cynics could say, “only $10,000? Cheap publicity.” Sure, it’s a type of marketing, but I say its smart marketing done with aloha for the community they’re in. It took a greater investment in time and in preparation: imagination the nomination process and administration of the contest, touching every elementary school in the islands. Far cheaper and easier to spend less printing flyers in a direct mail campaign that floods mailboxes, clutters parking lots and creates more ōpala (rubbish). WalMart is already on a profit roll and could have done nothing. Aloha, given in any measure, creates more abundance. The expressions on the children’s faces in that Alvah Scott celebration proved it.

Just think what you can do.