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Donating to charity for its own sake is golden

For the second year in a row, an anonymous benefactor has dropped a gold Krugerrand (currently worth about $1,200) into a Salvation Army kettle on Kauai.

The donation couldn’t have come at a better time. The Salvation Army says kettle contributions are down about 14 percent while the need for services such as food and rental assistance for families continues to grow.

Perhaps most important, the selfless act reminds us again that the spirit of the season isn’t about a good deed done for recognition — or in the case of the humble red kettles, even so much about dollar value — but finding joy in helping the less fortunate in any way you can.


Shopping at Ala Moana like episode of ‘Survivor’

The torrential rains of the past few days were only part of what can be called a perfect storm at Ala Moana Center.

First, it’s almost Christmas: a revenue bonanza, to be sure, but a logistical nightmare even at the best of times. Then the power goes out in some of the busiest shops. Repeatedly. Finally this all coincides with the arrival of the first lady and the first daughters. Picture drivers in the rain-soaked parking lot searching for a space when the Secret Service appears and clears the way for the Obamamobile.

Imagine what those would-be shoppers were saying, or even thinking. Bet it wasn’t "Ooh, ah, oh, wow! Ala Moana!"


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