In time for Memorial Day observance, Wayne Kato, local business owner of Painter’s Warehouse in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his coworkers recently painted the main entrance to Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The project was part of the nationwide community service program, Devoe® Paint a New Start, which involves bringing together communities across the country to support painting projects for significant local structures.
Here’s his reflection of the project:
Community service is such an important part of our culture in Hawaii because we are always looking to give back to those who have selflessly given so much to us. Living and growing up in Honolulu my whole life, I knew the perfect place to capture the spirit of the Devoe® Paint a New Start program and honor our veterans would be Punchbowl.
Punchbowl was created as a resting place for service members and their spouses following World War II and to me, represents the sacrifices made in the past for the freedom, rights and opportunities we enjoy today. Everyone in Honolulu has some connection to Punchbowl and each Memorial Day, residents pay our respects by placing American flags and flower leis on gravesites.
Having the opportunity to work with my business partner, employees, family and friends to paint the entrance to this special place meant a lot to me. This project was a way for us all to acknowledge, honor and thank the generations who came before us. It’s also so important to connect with the local community and culture that have shaped me and my company.
Involvement in the community is a great step to become a respected leader and build customer loyalty and employee respect. Most importantly you can rally the public around a shared goal. I would encourage any small business owner to get started by first finding a passion area for your company and then taking the steps to get you and your employees involved. Spending quality time with friends, family and coworkers doing this project at a place so special to me is something I hope others have the opportunity to experience.
Painter’s Warehouse Owner