Going Forward with A Cup of Cold Water: A Message from New President, Cathy Paxton Haines By Cindy Schumacher, Regional Reporter
Above photo was taken in 2013, during the blessing of the van, with ACCW's original crew and volunteers, including its founder, Keku Akana (back row with sunglasses).
[Chronicle, June 22, 2023] The all-volunteer A Cup of Cold Water (ACCW) Outreach Ministry of the Diocese and Episcopal Churches of Maui and Friends, continues to deliver basic needs including water, food, hygiene supplies, and dignity, to the neediest of Maui’s people. Those who share this work continually deepen their spirituality by developing trust and familiarity with those they serve, feeding spirits through a community of service and shared worship.
Going forward, 2023 brings encouraging changes. The number of those whom ACCW serves is growing. During the pandemic, some runs were suspended, but now it is clear that ACCW is well-loved and desperately needed.
Cathy Paxton Haines from St. John’s Kula, was busy taking care of her family for years, including caring for her mom who passed away last June at the age of 95. It was then that she decided it was time to become involved with ACCW.
“I am so incredibly grateful to the handful of dedicated people who continued the ministry through all the challenges presented by Covid," said Cathy, "and I am excited now to be a Run Leader, a driver, and also the new ACCW President. I hope we can continue to attract more volunteers and funds in order to continue serving the unsheltered on Maui."
“Prior to Covid there were more than 70 volunteers, and that number dwindled to about seven during the pandemic," continued Cathy. "However, very recently, we have recruited more volunteers to help in all aspects of the ministry. Looking towards the future, I am excited about what we can do together. This is an incredibly important ministry!”
Former ACCW president Deb Lynch noted, “It has truly been a blessing for me to serve during the past few years of the pandemic as president of this wonderful ministry. I am not completely leaving the work; however, I plan to serve more in the background, as a substitute driver, run leader, and rider."
Deb Lynch plans to help Cathy transition into the President position. "She has fresh ideas and a true heart for the unsheltered here on Maui," said Deb. "ACCW gratefully welcomes her and looks forward to her inspiration, compassion, and guidance.”
The challenges of the pandemic were both a hardship for those surviving on the streets and a wonderful time of compassion and creativity for those who were determined to continue to help them. The amount of friends who helped make peanut butter an jelly sandwiches, work in the supply room, and so much more, is astounding, heartfelt, and much needed.
Deb added, “I saw courage, innovation, dedication, loving-kindness, thoughtfulness, gratitude, generosity, prayers, hope, and humor in the genuine sharing of God’s love through hands and hearts. I learned that sharing God’s love is one of the greatest gifts we have to give, not only to those we serve, but also with each other.”
Both Deb and Cathy want to thank all those in the Diocese of Hawai'i who have sent prayers and support for ACCW from its beginning, especially during one of the most challenging times the ministry has ever had.
(Pictured is The Trinity PBJ Brigade, busy pumping out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for their June 4 run.)
Editor's note: ACCW is in constant need of inventory, and welcomes donations of backpacks, slippers, towels, bottled water, shorts (especially boardshorts), closed-toed shoes for work, SPAM, dog food (40-50# bags), blankets. For more information about ACCW, visit the Diocesan website HERE.