The Aloha Spirit In Action-Shoes for Kids


A kind gentleman reached out to me asking if I would share the fundraising link of his friend, Abram, who lives in the Ka’u District on the southern end of our island, who was doing a “back to school” fundraiser on my 365 Kona page on Facebook. I dug a little deeper.

Abram lives in Ocean View, about an hour or so south of Kona. After putting on a 3 on 3 basketball tournament for the kids living in Ka’u, he noticed a lot of the kids were playing basketball barefoot. He didn’t think much of it until the end of the tournament when some of the kids were too embarrassed to be in the photo.

They were embarrassed because they didn’t have shoes.

Some of the kids were even asking Abram if he could Super Glue their slippers because they were in such bad shape. “I asked if they had any other shoes and they were telling me all they had were these worn out slippers passed down from kid to kid. At that moment, I realized the poverty issues within our community. Two of the best players were 14 and 10 year old boys who played without shoes the whole time. I was so inspired by these young men I went and bought some shoes and socks for them with a donation from my two buddies Eric and Hub. Within that week I had given the shoes to the boys. Everytime I see the boys they have those shoes on. It’s broke my heart to see these young kids not being able to afford shoes and socks,” Abram shared on the fundraising page.

To help, Abram started a back to school fundraiser to raise money for slippers, socks, and shoes for the kids of his community.

He set the goal for $450. By the time he closed the fundraiser, he had received over $1500 for the cause.

He found out that if he ordered 50 shoes at once, he could get a break on cost and shipping. So, he then went out looking for the kids in the community who needed shoes. When he was short of his goal of 50, he found a Marshallese family, all who needed shoes and socks. He posted a photo of the family and two of the boys were wearing girls shoes because that was what was handed down to them in their size. You can imagine trying to show up for school with any level of confidence wearing your sister’s shoes.

Abram not only bought the 50 shoes AND 150 pairs of socks for all these kids, but he helped 8 other kids beyond the 50, too!

Abram’s friend who first told me about this story calls Abram a “stand up guy”. I call him a local hero.

One person CAN make a difference.

I found out that Abe owns his own organic Mamaki Tea company. Mamaki tea helps heal – fitting for what Abe has done for the kids in Ka’u. If you would like to share the Aloha, his site is 

Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at and and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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