Heart of Honolulu: An Aunty on the Big Island, a Kick-Butt Dancing Queen and a Really Hot Dinosaur

Each week, HONOLULU Magazine staff and readers show aloha for small acts of kindness.

Mahalo Mondays is a chance to say “tanks eh” to an individual who showed kindness, generosity and compassion in this challenging time. Tell us about a small act of goodness that you encountered or heard about so that we can share and inspire the aloha. Email us at staceym@honolulumagazine.com or tag us @honolulumag on Instagram or Facebook.

  mahalo aunty


“Aunty Lorna Saito has fostered over 53 children in Hawai‘i and is now feeding families in need for the past five weeks. Why? Because she said she cannot sleep knowing that a child goes to bed hungry. Mahalo nui loa Aunty Lorna and Hirabara Farms for donating fresh produce to our community and everyone who has donated money, food and their time to help Aunty Lorna prepare and distribute the meals. We are blessed to have this angel in our community.”

—Olelo Pa‘a Ogawa

  free fruit


“My neighbors are amazing gardeners. We often walk by to marvel at the dozens of fruit trees, vegetable vines and even kalo plants they’re able to maintain, then return to look at the shriveled remains of what once were promising sprouts in our own backyard. I’ve asked them for advice for every crop I’ve ever attempted. Last week, an impromptu fruit stand popped up in front of their home stocked with sweet grapefruit from the tree grown from a cutting brought back from the husband’s hometown in Texas years ago, and mountains of mountain apples. Above the boxes, a sign says: “Please take some for your immediate family. Enjoy and stay safe!” They replenished it every morning for days. My 9-year-old loves both and enjoyed picking her own fruit to eat that day. Thank you!”

Christi Young, HONOLULU Magazine editorial director 


“Sometimes the only thing that gets me through a tough day is my afternoon Zumba class. So when my gym closed, I was so sad I wouldn’t get to burn off steam (and calories). Luckily for me, Linda U., one of my instructors, started livestreaming all of her classes for free on Zoom. I live for her catchy songs, fun choreography and flashy, colorful leggings (that I wish I was bold enough to don myself). I’m so happy to see her smiling face almost every afternoon, even though I might be on the other end of the screen covered in sweat and lying facedown after all of those crunches. Thank you, Linda and all of the other fitness instructors who are giving us life from the comfort of your own living rooms. Keep kicking butt!”

Jayna Omaye, HONOLULU Magazine staff writer


SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Magazine Staff and Readers Show Aloha for Small Acts of Kindness

Photo: Philie


“Living alone definitely has its perks. But at a time when we’re being told to keep 6 feet apart, the perks can quickly fade. Thankfully I have people in my life who constantly check in on me—especially two lovely humans named Philie and Ashley. Recently, Philie called me because he wanted to give me free milk and food he got from an eatery that was getting rid of its stock because it was shutting down. Last weekend, Ashley from Local I‘a called asking if ‘Chicken Dog’ and I were OK (yes, my dog is chickenlike). She didn’t see us at the Saturday farmers market and when I explained why I had missed it, she asked what I needed. She gathered everything and delivered a bag to me two days later. We all need beautiful humans, like these two, in our lives!”

Katie Kenny, HONOLULU Magazine digital specialist



A post shared by Martha Cheng (@marthacheng) on


“Thank you to Kualoa Ranch’s retail manager, Sidney, who helps facilitate Kualoa’s weekly market drive-thru in a full dinosaur suit, which made me smile, especially when he started dancing. ‘He obviously doesn’t have to, but he thought people would get a laugh, which we all need these days,’ one of his co-workers said. ‘Yeah, it gets kind of hot in there,’ said another. ‘I mean, it’s a real dinosaur!’”

Martha Cheng, HONOLULU Magazine food and dining editor


Read more stories by Stacey Makiya