Young, Willing and Grateful
How Elijah Dacanay stepped in when others had to stay-at-home
When Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation at the end of March 2020 — business closures, furloughs and tightened work schedules spread across Hawaii as residents were ordered to “stay at home” to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the orders allowed for essential public services like Hawaii Foodbank to continue operating, many nonprofits found themselves with sharply declining numbers of volunteers.
When news spread that Hawaii Foodbank was in need of healthy and able volunteers, Elijah Dacanay did not hesitate to raise his hand and step in. Knowing his work schedule was about to open up, Elijah signed up to volunteer one afternoon at Hawaii Foodbank’s warehouse. And he hasn’t looked back.
Since that first volunteer shift, Elijah has volunteered his time in a variety of capacities — from sorting fresh produce and other food donations at the warehouse to distributing food at Pop-up Food Distributions to even holding a virtual food drive during last year’s Food Drive Day. Elijah describes his favorite part of volunteering as seeing the gratitude on people’s faces — both from food recipients as well as other volunteers. His favorite events have been the large-scale Pop-ups at Aloha Stadium, but he also enjoys volunteering at ‘Ohana Produce Plus distributions with Lighthouse Outreach Center and The Salvation Army.
Since he started volunteering with Hawaii Foodbank last year, Elijah has worked more than 125 hours.