2: Hawaii-Pacific

Healing through nourishing food & pursing the dream of opening a restaurant

Istanbul Hawaii is a popular restaurant located in Kaka’ako, Hawaii. However, before they became a well established restaurant, owner and chef Ahu Hetema struggled with PTSD and depression. Chef Ahu moved to the States from Turkey at age 17. A lifetime of struggles taught her the healing power of nourishing food, and cooking, which became her way of connecting with her family. Fueled by a hard-working attitude, Ahu and her parents opened a farmers market stand in Honolulu in 2015. It was Chef Ahu's dream to open a restaurant in Honolulu.

Red Cross Delivers Emergency Message for a Hawaii Military Family

When unexpected tragedy struck a Wahiawa military family, they turned to the American Red Cross Hero Care Network for assistance. The father of a Private First Class called the Hero Care call center to provide the necessary information for delivery of an Emergency Communication Message (ECM - known better in the military community as a “Red Cross Message”) to the young service member’s unit. Within hours, the soldier’s command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina received the ECM to determine emergency leave status.

Lyla’s Wish To Be a Navy SEAL Brings Strength...and Smiles

Lyla was a very competitive soccer player and a super active kid. But due to her genetic condition, this resilient Maui girl endured countless hospital visits and medications to control her daily seizures and uncontrolled movements.

Her wish experience brought her two days filled with pure joy — including a full afternoon of simulated SEAL combat training, followed by scuba diving instruction, an open-water dive, and a relaxed afternoon on a boat with her family in the waters near Ko‘olina. Together, they made cherished memories.

I hope Hawaii Meals on Wheels is still delivering to me when I’m 105!

My name is Bettie Sank, I live in Waipio. I will be 96 years old in a week. I’m happy to share what my Hawaii Meals on Wheels means to me.

In November 2019 a beautiful church lady named Silvie contacted Hawaii Meals on Wheels for me. She knew I was totally disabled with very limited mobility. Because of this, I can’t cook for myself. I can’t handle anything higher than shoulder length as I’m unable to get out of my motorized chair. I can’t handle my stove, and I can’t do dishes. To raise my arms to prepare a meal is impossible.