When you inspire purpose in someone, you unleash the potential to transform uncertainty into possibility.
And when we have a shared purpose, we can do more and be more together.

It is with much gratitude that we share these inspiring stories of hope and triumph.


Talianna truly enjoys working at Lanakila Pacific and we are excited to see her thrive.

Talianna joined Lanakila Pacific in February 2019 when she was hired as a custodian on our Lanakila Grounds & Custodial Services team. She excitedly shares, “I really enjoy cleaning. I like having my own sites I am responsible for. Cleaning makes me feel happy.” Talianna is proud to have learned better ways to clean and therefore applies the techniques at home. She continues, “I also learned how to work in a team and that I need to be on time. I don’t want to keep my teammates waiting for me.”


“It makes me feel good about what I’m doing when I’m making others feel like they have purpose and gain more independence.”

Two years ago, David joined Lanakila Pacific as Employment Specialist for its job training and advocacy program. A year later, he was promoted to Assistant Manager of Lanakila Employment Services (formerly known as Lanakila Training & Advocacy) and now takes the lead in helping adults with disabilities develop both the technical and social skills necessary for gaining meaningful employment. According to David, many young adults are uncertain about their futures after graduating high school. He believes that there is a job for everyone and it is his role to help others figure out what their interests and skill levels are and guide them in the right direction.

He shares a recent success story, “One individual secured job at Jamba Juice. He stated that the training we provided him gave him all the tools he needed to get the job. He essentially says he owes it all to us.”


Janet started as a custodial employee of Lanakila Grounds & Custodial Services in September 2017. Succeeding in the role, she was later promoted to a lead position in which she is now responsible for ensuring her team properly cleans.

"Since I have become a lead, I enjoy working with other people who have challenges to help them improve their skills and help them out in any way I can. I enjoy learning how to be a leader and helping other people be leaders on the job as well.” As a Lanakila Grounds & Custodial Services employee, Janet learned how to be more independent and more patient when working with people. She candidly shares, “One day I would like to own my own business. Maybe a restaurant so I can cook again. Maybe even go back to school and learn business and culinary arts.”

As a Lanakila Grounds & Custodial Services employee, Janet learned how to be more independent and more patient when working with people. She candidly shares, “One day I would like to own my own business. Maybe a restaurant so I can cook again. Maybe even go back to school and learn business and culinary arts.”


"What makes Lanakila is the people that work for them...coming to deliver meals to seniors. I find malama when I talk to them."

Maxine has been a Lanakila Meals on Wheels recipient since 2014. She was introduced to our program as an active member of the Lanakila Kupuna Wellness Center in Waianae. Having met many new people through the program, the camaraderie among friends when sharing stories, participating in activities and going on outings is what she enjoyed the most.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lanakila Kupuna Wellness Centers have since ceased its operations, so Maxine now has her meals delivered directly to her home. Though she misses her friends, Maxine is happy and thankful for the meals she continues to receive as well as the volunteers who visit with her during every delivery. “We’re outside with our masks on to be safe, but we still talk.”


"We’ve been really fortunate in our lives and we believe in paying it back to others who aren’t as fortunate as we are.”

Larry and Jana Dove moved to Hawaii in 1999 when Larry was transferred for Navy duty. They first heard of Lanakila Pacific though Jana’s co-workers at Hickam Air Force Base who were volunteering to help prepare Lanakila Meals on Wheels’ annual Thanksgiving dinner so homebound seniors may to have a nice holiday meal.  It was so much fun and they felt so good doing it, that the couple volunteered for the Christmas dinner and then the next year for both holidays again.  

The Doves left Hawaii for several years for Jana’s job, but later returned in 2006 having considered Hawaii their home.  Upon their return, they resumed supporting Lanakila Pacific by making annual donations.

When Covid-19 hit the islands, the Doves knew Lanakila Pacific would be a major player in providing meals for the community and that our services are more important now than ever so they reaffirmed their commitment to making donations.


“Oh yes, (the meals) are very helpful. I enjoy the banana that comes along with the meal…and you know once I got a potted flower! I was so happy!”

Bettejane was an active member of Lanakila Kupuna Wellness Centers at West Loch for two years. She describes the program as educational, fun and meaningful with her favorite activities being arts and crafts, bingo and the cooking classes. Bettejane enjoyed the camaraderie so much that she often tried to entice other friends to join as well. Though the centers have been closed since the onset of COVID, she is thankful to continue receiving meals through home delivery.


Just before his 8th birthday, Kolby learned of Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Since then, he asks his friends to give rice every birthday which he then donates to our seniors.

Since the age of four, Kolby has been inspired to help others. Once he noticed a couple of children wandering the streets in Kakaako. He turned to his grandmother and asked where do they live. His grandmother drove him to the homeless shelter in Kakaako next to the Children’s Discovery Center to show Kolby where they lived. That experience helped him know the difference between wanting and needing.

From then on, whenever asked what he wanted for his birthday, he’d always reply that he didn’t need anything. Instead, he encouraged his friends to give canned goods so he may donate them to those in need.

For his 11th birthday, Kolby couldn’t invite his friends for a birthday party because of COVID-19. Determined Kolby and his grandmother opted to do a one-hour drive-by opportunity asking friends and family to drop off rice at their home. As a result, a total 600 pounds of rice, pasta and canned goods were collected.  Way to go, Kolby!


"I have a vision disability --but to me, it's no a barrier. I believe that if you have a disability, it shouldn't prohibit you from doing anything you want to do. Do not let your disability discourage you because it will only hold you back."

Always working with a positive attitude and a smile, Jose has been a member of Lanakila Custom products team since 2012. After completing two years of training in Lanakila Training & Advocacy Program, Jose was hired and now leads all embroidery project. He excels working with the embroidery machine; intrigued by the technical aspects of how the machine is runs.


After successfully completing Lanakila Training & Advocacy’s program in just six weeks, Edlynne was hired as an employee of Lanakila Kitchen

Her responsibilities expanded from helping to prepare frozen and fresh meals for seniors to serving hot breakfasts and lunches to the general public in the cafeteria. Edlynne enjoys working as a cashier as it helps improve her math skills while helping customers. She is thrilled about her accomplishments of learning to mix and scoop batter in the scone baking process.


Seth says the most important things he's learned from Lanakila Pacific are the values of teamwork, communication and leadership.

Starting in Lanakila Training & Advocacy's program in January 2017, Seth learned how to perform various custodial duties such as vacuuming, polishing furniture, and cleaning windows. As a trainee, he struggled with time management, but worked every day to improve. He was eventually able to match his time with national standards and even beat those times on several occasions. Those were very happy days for Seth. After successfully graduating from the program, he was hired as a permanent member of Lanakila Grounds & Custodial Services team in Fall 2018.


Though it can be challenging for Kevin to interact and communicate with people, he persevered each day advancing from a cashier serving over a 100 people daily to a trainer on his team.

Kevin first came to Lanakila pacific in 2015 as a Lanakila Meals on Wheels volunteer. After being promoted to a permanent position, he struggled with the demands of the job and was then transferred to Lanakila Kitchen where he now thrives. Kevin's growth continued as he now prepares sandwiches and appetizers as a pantry in hopes of one day being a cook.