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Lunalilo Home Make a Difference Day

In honor of The Queen’s Medical Center’s 150th anniversary, 150 Queen’s ‘ohana (family) recently volunteered time on Make a Difference Day to help another community organization: Lunalilo Home. Queen’s staff, family members and others painted large portions of the interior and exterior of the adult residential care home and landscaped its porte cochere area with native plants. Lunalilo Home was established by the will of high chief William Charles Lunalilo, who reigned for just over a year as king of the Hawaiian Kingdom when he died in 1874. Although Queen’s participates in many health-related causes, the organization has recently sought broader ways to give to the community at-large, especially to those with roots in Hawai‘i.

Leaders of both Queen’s and Lunalilo Home felt a stronger alignment of the organizations should be developed, and that kokua (help) should be renewed since both were founded by ali‘i (royalty). Queen’s and Lunalilo Home also have another link in the past. King Lunalilo bequeathed a portion of his Waikiki lands to Queen Emma, who in turn wrote her will to benefit The Queen’s Hospital. These lands now help support the mission of The Queen’s Medical Center to perpetuate the health of the people of Hawai’i and to recognize the special health needs of Hawaiians.

King Lunalilo was the first of the ali‘i with large landholdings to create a charitable trust for his people. The purpose of the trust was to build and perpetuate a home for poor, destitute and infirm people of Hawaiian blood, with preference given to kupuna (elders). Lunalilo Home was originally established in 1883 near where Roosevelt High School is today. It serves 42 residents in its current location in Hawai‘i Kai. The last renovation of its building was completed in 2001. Since then, Lunalilo Home has expanded its elderly care services to include adult day care, respite and home meal deliveries. Although its focus is on serving Hawaiians, the Lunalilo Home has opened its doors and services to non-Hawaiians.

When Queen’s staff arrived to perform their work at Lunalilo Home, 50 gallons of paint, 15 yards of compost and 30 yards of mulch awaited them. The materials were donated by generous local businesses, and employees donated medical supplies and gifts for residents. Queen’s facilities staff contributed prep work during the previous week—including power washing and rustproofing—to prepare surfaces for painting. Facilities also coordinated the landscaping. Volunteers repainted the Koa Room, which is the entry to the residence where residents can greet friends and family, and the dining room. Others worked outside, repainting the porte cochere and the entire mauka (mountain side) façade of the building. Meanwhile, another team of volunteers spread the compost and mulch, then planted hapu‘u (tree ferns), kupukupu ferns and laua‘e ferns.

“The kupuna…are so pleased, excited and happy with the results of your magic, which has transformed Lunalilo Home,” wrote Stanley Hong, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the King William Charles Lunalilo Trust Estate, in thanking Queen’s staff. J. Kuhio Asam, MD, Executive Director of Lunalilo Home, also acknowledged the relationship with Queen’s: “I look forward to ongoing collaborations between our two institutions as we progress with our joint missions to serve. Na kakou apau ke kuleana pono e malama i ko kakou kupuna—the true responsibility to serve our elders is with all of us.”

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