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As he was leaving his Honolulu recording studio in the wee hours following Monday’s devastating bombing at the Boston Marathon, record producer Shawn Pimental discovered a homeless family sleeping outside. With young children of his own at home, the sight of 1 year old Trinity and 3 year old Destiny sleeping on the street stopped him cold. He stopped to talk to the parents (Tiffany and Matt) and offer assistance.
At the close of a Facebook post early Tuesday morning in which he described his visit with the family, Shawn stated, “I think that in these times of tragedy like what happened in Boston, the best thing we can do is continue to love and reach out to one another. I'm not rich and have my own family to take care of but I can't forget the look on Trinity's face tonight. I'm gonna have a hard time sleeping until I know those children are somewhere safe. Anybody who wants to help with me is certainly welcome. Me ke aloha nui, Shawn”.
Shawn discovered that Matt, who was raised in Kalihi, had been laid off from his job as a fish cutter. The family had temporary shelter for eight months, after which they had hoped to move to the mainland to be with family, but that fell through. Neither Matt nor Tiffany, who is from Kapahulu, have family here to turn to, so they and their babies have been living on the streets for the past year. (They have a small car, but the registration has expired and they risk getting cited if they drive it.)
In a second visit with the family late last night, Shawn spoke at length with Tiffany. As they talked, he was horrified to see cockroaches running in and out of the babies’ nearby stroller, and both cockroaches and ants covering the ground near the family’s small encampment. Because of the bugs, Tiffany was loathe to accept many of the food items Shawn had brought for them, but he gave them money for breakfast and a Wal-Mart gift card, and offered the use of his studio bathroom facilities.
Shawn’s poignant Facebook posts about what he describes as “a beautiful, unfortunate family that has just fallen on hard times” sparked an immediate response. He has received numerous offers of help from people near and far. Some have provided information about shelters, services, and possible jobs. Some have sent money or gift cards for nearby stores (Foodland, Wal-Mart, Long’s, etc.) and others have dropped off donations such as strollers, diapers, formula, clothes and dolls for the girls.
As of this writing I’ve been unable to reach Shawn by phone (I will update this post when I do), but in the mean time, in addition to food, clothing, shelter and any medical needs they may have, some other immediate needs that can be addressed are:
If you would like to help this family, you may send or drop off donations to:
Studio Ala Moana
1232 Waimanu St. Ste. C
Honolulu HI 96814-4306
You may also send donations by email via PayPal at no charge. Shawn’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
About Shawn: Shawn Pimental is a Nā Hōkū Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy®) Award-winning producer and musician. He has produced and toured with many of Hawaiʻi’s top artists, including Nā Palapalai, Na Leo, Kaumakaʻiwa Kanakaʻole, and many more, and has opened for national acts such as Janet Jackson, Color Me Badd, Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Morgan Heritage, Shaggy, Third World, Hoobastank, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Expose, and more. He owns Koops2 Entertainment (record label) and is co-owner of Studio Ala Moana. He also has a huge, huge heart...
Note: There are families in need all over the country. Shawn has shown that all it takes is one person to take notice and step up, and others will follow. While some may not want to directly approach someone in need, there are many worthwhile non-profit organizations that need our donations of both time and money. Please consider making a one-time or on-going donation to the non-profit of your choice. Every dollar helps.
Originally from California, Iʻve lived on Oʻahu for a number of years. Music has always been my passion and Iʻm fortunate to be able to work with and support many of Hawaiʻiʻs musicians. For such a tiny speck in the middle of a very large ocean, we have an amazing wealth of talent here!