A year’s worth of mahalo

The year isn’t over yet, but 2012 has been filled with helpful people, some of whom we meet only once, and may not even know their names; and fun, exciting events sponsored by businesses who are dedicated to being good neighbors.

We remember to thank our family and friends, but I’d like to take a moment to thank some of the people and businesses that have touched our lives.

Mahalo to our neighborhood parks at Koko Head and Kamilo Iki for their free after-school classes. My 6-year old son has played basketball, table tennis, and games; and learned to draw and paint with friendly teachers. Mahalo to our neighborhood libraries in Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina, and Kaimuki for storytimes, puzzletimes, and special events.

Mahalo to Hawaii Kai Youth Baseball and the volunteer coaches, Chelsea and Justin, and the parent supporters on my son’s baseball team this summer. I really appreciate their time and patience!

Mahalo to the concerned man who made sure that I was okay and the thoughtful woman who bought me a Sprite to make sure that I was hydrated when I had a dizzy spell at a Home Depot Kids Workshop in July. I felt cared for.

Mahalo to Barnes and Noble for their weekly storytimes and special events; and for the free cupcake on my son’s birthday. Mahalo to The Home Depot and Lowe’s for their free monthly kids workshops, teaching them about careful building and giving them a sense of accomplishment (my son’s favorite projects have been a “savings shed” and a race car). Mahalo to the Honolulu Museum of Art and Bank of Hawaii for their free Family Sundays (the haunted house in October was so much fun!). Mahalo to the Lego Store for their monthly mini-build Lego events (my son built an owl and a black cat).

Mahalo to Iolani Palace for their Royal Easter Egg Hunt and Ward Centers for the Easter Bunny Treat Trail. Mahalo to Hawaii Kai Town Center for their Halloween Spooktacular and Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony; Koko Marina Center for their Halloween Trick-or-Treat, Keiki Kalikimaka Parade, and Christmas Carnival; and Salt Lake Shopping Center for their Fun-in-the-Sun Mele Kalikimaka.

Mahalo to 7-Eleven, which gave away free slurpees on July 11. Mahalo to Arby’s, which gave away free curly fries on Tax Day in April. Mahalo to Burger King, which gave away free onion rings to celebrate the Super Bowl in February. Mahalo to Cinnabon, which tried to make Tax Day a little sweeter with two free Bites in April. Mahalo to IHOP, which gave away free pancakes on National Pancake Day in March. Mahalo to Panda Express, which gave away free firecracker chicken in honor of the Chinese New Year in January; and free peppercorn shrimp in February. Mahalo to Yogurtland, which gave away free yogurt on National Frozen Yogurt Day in February.

What are you thankful for? Who will you thank today?

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