Celebrating With Hearts of Thankfulness
On a warm November night the eve of Thanksgiving, we hosted our annual Thanksgiving Luau. It was with grateful hearts that we celebrated the year of 2017 with our local community. An ambient glow and aroma of the savory Thanksgiving meal filled the property. Every individual that attended instantly felt welcomed and were served a hot meal. Several of our local military families also volunteered to prepare and serve meals throughout the evening. It was truly a night to remember filled with intentional conversations, newly formed relationships with others in the community, dancing, and much more.
Madi Graham, who is a new staff member at STN shared a few impactful moments she experienced throughout the night. She had the pleasure of meeting a man named John. Though originally from Chicago, John has lived in Wahiawa for a number of years. Through their mutual love for dogs, Madi and John began to share their life stories with one another. John shared that due to an extreme amount of severe health issues, he will be venturing back to the mainland to live with family. His doctors refer to him as “The Miracle Man” which is a title he has come to embrace. Upon hearing his story, Madi gave John her giving key, engraved with the word fearless. As John prepares for the significant life changes ahead, he now has a treasure reminding him that he is meant to live fearlessly and that there is someone who believes and genuinely cares for him.
“His life is a story of fearlessness with all that he has faced.”
“People feel safe here. I think the Luau was really a place where everyone felt safe to be themselves and not have to put up any kind of appearance and could just come as they are. Life is about being real and experiencing things together.I feel so honored to be a part of it and having the opportunity to hear people share their hearts, dreams, and passions. It is incredible being part of something bigger than myself.” ~Madi Graham
Aunties and Uncles danced freely to the live music that filled the garage and spread the contagious energy the luau embodied. It was a place filled with wonder where people felt the freedom to express themselves and lift up those around them.
The evening felt timeless and epitomized the truest meaning of ohana and aloha.