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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 18, 2006

How role models can change a community

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It's easy to wonder where all our young role models have gone. These days, news about teen and 20-something celebrities often involve parties, breakups and public missteps.

But here in Hawai'i, Michelle Wie has given everyone hope.

By donating equipment and furniture worth thousands of dollars for a computer lab at Kamaile Elementary School in Wai'anae, the 17-year-old golfer has shown that no matter how big you get, or how young you are, there's value in giving to your community.

The impressive donation, sparked by a series on homelessness in The Advertiser, rightly gained much public attention, given her popularity. But there also has been overwhelming support from the local, national and global communities, through donations such as money, food, supplies and services, including haircuts for homeless children. The contributions ranging from cans of tuna to $10 to Wie's six-figure donation are shining examples of how a community can pull together to help the less fortunate.

Today is the last day of Homeless Awareness Week in Hawai'i, but the need for community support will go on. Let's build on this momentum and prove that role models young and old still exist.

To find out how you can help, call Wai'anae Community Outreach, 696-5667 or Kamaile Elementary School, 697-7110.