What One Person Can Do

Amid the cloud of corruption and treasonous conduct of the President of the United States and his family that engulfs the nation on a daily basis, we sometimes hear a story of someone doing amazing good things for others. Not for personal gain or publicity. Out of the limelight. Just because it’s the right thing to do.

I learned recently that I know such a person. Let’s call her Roxanne Yamashita. Because that’s her actual name and she should be recognized. I met Roxanne through Halau Ho’omau I ka Wai Ola O Hawai’i, a Hawaiian cultural and hula dance group in which my wife participated when we lived in Virginia. Roxanne’s daughter, Lana, also was part of the halau from a very early age.

Roxanne, like me, photographed the halau dances and other activities. Over time I noticed that her photos of the young children in particular showed great awareness of how to photograph them at play as they worked on projects and even danced the hula. As time passed, her photos of the keikis, as the small children are known, got better and better.

So, it should not have been a surprise that Roxanne would do something extremely generous for others, with particular emphasis on children. Still, what she has done is, I think, extraordinary.

If you go to www.smallthingsmatter.org, you will see the results of her work. Among the beneficiaries are children being helped by the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health and the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. The output includes “stuffies” made with fleece or other fabric that can be personalized and accessorized, as well as small pillows.  The site also says “Small Things Matter performs and encourages others to perform Random Acts of Kindness.  Some of our RAKS included leaving abandoned art to be found, lucky penny drops and bracelets drops.”

Typically, the photos on the site are all of Roxanne’s daughter, Lana, who is a full participant in the work and learning the true meaning of generous spirit from her mother. The site has a 401(c)(3) charitable determination from the IRS, so contributions are tax-deductible.

Small things can indeed make a big difference in the well-being of a child. Roxanne and Lana are working hard to do the right thing by helping others who may need a little lift. I am sure there are many others doing similar things around the country, but I only know Roxanne and am glad I do. If you have some spare coin, Small Things Matter is a worthy place to donate.

3 thoughts on “What One Person Can Do

  1. Roxanne

    Thank you Paul for your very kind and sweet write up. I wish I had a blog so that I could share a few stories of the aloha you and Dina have given to all of us over the years! Though I am undeserving of your praise I did enjoy the eloquence of your words and look forward to hearing about your adventures on Autumn in New York! Take care, Roxanne


  2. Suz

    Oh my goodness! Roxie works tirelessly to help so many. She is also a big part of another 401c called Difference Makers that makes weekly pickups and distributons to help feed those who need a helping hand. She gives and gives and admirably sets such a good example for her daughter Lana. Husband John is also a big supporter and such a great dad. This entire family is truly remarkable. It is humbling and inspiring to be lucky enough to spend any time with them.


    1. Roxanne

      Suz, you and Kumu give so much to everyone! You brought Hawaii to VA and gave all of us a second home and family. I am so grateful that Lana has grown up with such warm and loving aunties, uncles, and hula brothers and sisters. Mahalo for all that you do!!!! We love you! Rox



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