Marines, sailors feed homeless
By Cpl. J. Micah Plotts
| | June 24, 2005
U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii --
More than 40 Marines and sailors from Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay and Camp H. M. Smith spent a day helping out those less fortunate in Honolulu June 24.
The service members made their monthly visit to the Institute for Human Services, a homeless shelter downtown, where they cleaned it up before preparing and serving lunch.
"They got to understand a little more about what goes on downtown here, because most of the time they're on the other side of the island. There are so many needs here, and there are people who not only eat here but sleep here," said Navy Lt. Daniel Owens, MCBH Chaplain.
Owens, a Galloway Township, New Jersey native, headed up the event and said he had no trouble getting Marines and sailors to volunteer.
"Volunteers have been working at the shelter since before I arrived here on the Island. We came to them and offered our help. These kids really enjoy dedicating their time to show the community they care," Owens said.
The servicemembers arrived early and gave the entire shelter a "motivating field day," cleaning it from top to bottom. They also touched up the walls and doors with a few brushes and buckets of paint, brightening up the place a bit.
"This is a good way to get out and show the people we protect them in more than one way. Sure, Marines go out and shop and eat and do what everyone else does in town, but the feeling you get from spending a day with the less fortunate is far greater," said Lance Cpl. Brandon Stott, support equipment maintenance, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Stott spent his morning painting doors and cleaning the walls of the shelter. Afterward, he and the rest of the Marines prepared food, served it and cleaned up the kitchen.
"It's definitely hard work, but well worth it. I don't mind grilling and I don't mind cleaning, especially when it's for a good cause," said Stott, a West Palm Beach, Fl. native.
After all the food prep work was done, the men and women in the shelter gave the Marines and Sailors a round of applause before eating. A few of them came up and personally thanked the young men and women who serve our country.
"Many times you think this is paradise and a resort city, but there's a lot of special needs here just like any other city," Owens said.