A Letter of Gratitude from the Seniors of “Aloha for Texas”

IPA students in their "Aloha for Texas" t-shirts.

“Aloha For Texas” on September 16 was more than our class could have ever anticipated—everything worked out in the end. It was beautiful to see how our community could come together on such short notice in the name of helping others. We wish all of you could’ve seen the way everything came together—we were truly blessed with a smooth event. However, we couldn’t have done it without the support of our community.

We thought the tent would blow away, but Hawaiʻi Superior Bounce and Tent was able to bring us more water to secure it. We were worried about food, but between those who made chili and the Tin Hut we were covered. We thought we would miss the deadline for the JJ Watt Fundraiser, but after corresponding with them we were granted an extension.

It’s amazing how quickly people respond to a call for help: performers volunteered their time, and students gave up their Saturday night. A local farm donated a literal ton of watermelon. The Kamehameha Schools provided our entertainment tent. Families and their companies provided posters, drinks, desserts, first aid, and other necessities.

With everyone’s help, we were able to raise $6,636.00 for the JJ Watt Foundation. Our Theory of Knowledge class will be sending them our check with a thank you letter and an event shirt for JJ Watt for the foundation’s kindness and patience. We will also be donating $554 toward Hurricane Irma relief.

What made this event truly special was seeing how personal it was and to hear all of the stories. Our theater teacher, Mrs. Dul, is from Texas, and she volunteered to help with food sales. Her time meant so much to all of us, and hearing her stories of her family in Texas helped us remember what we were working for. Some members from our class who were working at the donation booth met a man from Texas and his family who just relocated to Hawaii. They lost two houses in the Hurricane Harvey flood, but that didn’t stop him from helping others. He used his monster trucks to rescue 40 families that were stranded.

Throughout the whole event students got to work with leaders in our community and learned that life is about so much more than just making money—it’s about using your influence and power to help those who can’t help themselves. Events like “Aloha For Texas” allow for us, seniors at IPA, to use that influence for good: to show that students can make a difference, that it’s fun to give and that we should help whenever we can.

This event would not have been possible without the giving hearts of our families at IPA, and so we thank you for your generous contributions to our fundraiser. Thank you for being examples to your children and to us of what it means to be charitable. It is too easy to be absorbed in oneself these days, but again and again,  you teach us that there is always more we can do for others.

As we all know, “Aloha” cannot be understood with a dictionary. It cannot even be adequately explained with words. “Aloha” can only be fully grasped through experience. It is the language of the heart. So, thank you. Thank you everyone for sharing your heart, your aloha. Thank you for allowing your heart to touch so many others.



(This article was written and contributed by Maddie Yamamura, ’18, one of the IPA seniors organizing this event).


Aloha for Texas sponsor logos

IPA extends a big mahalo to all the generous sponsors of “Aloha for Texas.” Their help and support made this event possible.

The Garcia family of Houston.

The Garcia family lost everything in the Houston floods. They happened to move to Hawaiʻi on the day of “Aloha for Texas,” heard about the event from someone in the community, and came out to share their story.

Flooded freeway in Houston.

The flood waters in Houston reached unbelievable levels, completely flooding roads and freeways. (Photo credit: Logan Garcia).

Submerged car in Hurricane Harvey

A car sits submerged in the flood waters in Houston following Hurricane Harvey. (Photo credit: Logan Garcia).

Flooded intersection in Houston.

The flood waters in Houston reached unbelievable levels, completely flooding roads and freeways. (Photo credit: Logan Garcia).

Students with signs.

IPA students advertise the event with their “Aloha for Texas” signs in front of the school.

IPA students in their "Aloha for Texas" t-shirts.

IPA students in their “Aloha for Texas” t-shirts.

Students carry a mat.

IPA students from the middle and upper school volunteered their Saturday to help with “Aloha for Texas.”

Event t-shirt.

The students designed and printed “Aloha for Texas” t-shirts to sell to help raise funds.

Girls writing notes.

IPA students write words of encouragement on paper flowers to Houston residents. The flowers were strung together to create a giant lei of aloha for Houston.

Elissa Minamishin performing.

Faculty member Elissa Minamishin performed with Kapono Naʻiliʻili and Friends at the event.

Builiding with red, white, and blue lights.

The front of the IPA secondary building was lit up with the colors of the Texas flag for “Aloha for Texas.”







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