The year 2020 was the year of self-reflection because everyone was safely tucked away in their homes and there was no socializing due to the stay-home order and other health guidelines put into place to keep people safe from the spread of COVID-19. The schools were closed, the airport was empty, and Old Kapa‘a was quiet like a ghost town.
As the weeks slowly passed the lockdown was lifted, and soon businesses would reopen... But for who? New health concerns surrounding the pandemic made the public unsure.
Natasha and Jeni, board members of Old Kapa‘a Town Business Hui, were inspired by a friend who painted rainbows in the mainland for businesses that were open, and so they decided to take action to collaborate with businesses in Old Kapa‘a Town to start the rainbow movement.
The idea was to use rainbows as a symbol to send a message of hope and gratitude for support during this time. Jeni led the movement and with the help of her sisters, Jasmine and June, the rainbows were painted on twenty-five storefront windows as a way for shops to let people know they are open, and they are still here.
Rainbows could be seen along Kuhio Highway from the north end of Old Kapa‘a Town to the south end, and that sent a message to the public that the town was open and accepting business. This helped to revive the town and it reset the atmosphere to invite people back into shops.
See an article published June 23, 2020 in the Garden Island by Jason Blasco, titled A Ray of Light