Rotarian and Lion “LOVE” for community service lifts spirits and brings HOPE to the World

Jan 29, 2024 | Heart and Soul, PC Community

By Barry Villamil

As a Hawaii Rotarian and Hawaii Lion, community service runs deep in my heart as together, with fellow club members and other community volunteers, we strive to better our environment and the lives of those here in Hawaii and around the world.

I have an amazing opportunity as a member of both international service organizations, the Rotary Club of Pearlridge (RCOP) and the Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club (MLNLC) to make a difference with so many wonderfully dedicated community volunteers.

This past Saturday, I once again wore two hats during a community service project with fellow Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club community volunteers led by club President Dexter Aoki. We all came together at around 6:45am to clean and beautify a stretch of landscaping and roadway sidewalk that runs along the Aiea Stream from Moanalua Road to Aiea Intermediate School. It is an ongoing MLNLC community service project that the club has dedicated their time, efforts, and resources to maintain and to beautify a portion of the Aiea community landscape.

As we were working hard on Saturday morning while weed whacking the Aiea Stream bed area landscaping and along the sidewalk, digging out clumps of California grass, racking up cut grass and weeds, sweeping up leaves and small branches on the sidewalk and roadside, and bagging all the debris for disposal, a beautiful sign of “LOVE” shined through the fence line as it was being cleared of overgrown vines by volunteers. The sign delivered a vision of blessed inspiration while reminding us of why we care for one another and share our efforts to brighten the spirits of the community.

You see, just behind the sign of LOVE is a homeless encampment and behind that across the Aiea Stream bed is the Korean Christian Church. After our clean-up and beautification workday, we were all invited to breakfast at the Aiea United Korean Methodist Church. Our breakfast and fellowship were a true blessing and started off our weekend filled with the spirit of LOVE through Kindness, Caring, and Hope. In life, we receive signs of HOPE in the world either directly or indirectly. I believe it begins with LOVE for one another.

I am currently President-elect for the Rotary Club of Pearlridge and plan to build upon our successful partnerships with international service organizations, community organizations, education, and corporate and government partners.

Serving as both a Rotarian and Lion profoundly expands the potential to reach out to those in need in Hawaii and around the world. The partnership between the Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Pearlridge serves as the template for a bright future committed to community service through the outreach of Aloha.

Photos by Barry Villamil