Page 7 - Hawaii Island Midweek - Aug 25 2021
P. 7

AUGUST 25, 2021
  For Dung, It’s About Accentuating The Positive
Beginning next month, MidWeek welcomes its newest contributor as Da- rah Dung pens a weekly column called “Mahalo Nui.” Like its predeces- sor, “Applause,” which was written over the past two decades by Pamela Young, the feature cele- brates the good deeds that people perform for one another.
Readers are encour- aged to share these ran- dom acts of kindness with Dung, who may choose to cover them in her col- umn. She can be reached at mahalonuiwithdarah@
“I’m honored and op- timistic,” says Dung. “I think people are looking for positivity, and the fact that it can be highlighted in a publication that goes to every home is even better.”
   who support the Salvation Army and the community.
nearly a decade. The organi- zation provides a home for families who have seriously ill children who need medical care on O‘ahu.
“We’ve done things like a CEO sleep-out at the state Capitol to raise awareness for homelessness,” Dung says.
“When you’re going through something like that in your life, you can’t put a price on the kind of support the Ronald McDonald House Charities provides,” she says.
The group has also fed the homeless, distributed food to underserved communi- ties, donated school supplies to students in need and gone to school campuses to help clean them up.
Here, she gets to combine two of her loves: her dogs and giving back. Every year, Dung takes her dogs to the organization’s Christmas parties so the kids can play with them.
“Basically, we’ve taken the mission of The Salvation Army and we’ve instigated a younger generation to get involved and just show the importance of giving back, volunteerism and serving,” she says, adding that she encourages people who’ d like to get involved to visit hawaii.salvationarmy.eche-
she says with a laugh.
The event, which benefits
 Another organization that’s dear to her heart is Ronald McDonald House Charities. Dung has been in- volved with the nonprofit for
In addition to those two charitable groups, another big part of Dung’s commu- nity work is her involvement with the Celebrities and Their Pets Fashion Show.
“Sometimes people go and watch the show
just thinking they’ re watching the show
“That’s kind of my family that I take to their family. It’s just a really nice event, which (is an example of) dogs being therapeutic, too.”
an array of local shelters, fea- tures island celebrities walk- ing the runway with either their own adopted or foster pet or a pet that needs to be placed in a foster or forever home. The purpose of the show is to encourage people to adopt shelter animals.
(Above) In addition to being a professional television host, actress and model, Darah Dung is a lifelong animal lover. Here, she is hosting her show The Pet Hui at the Celebrities and their Pets Fashion Show. (Inset) Dung, who is a founding board member of The Salvation Army’s Echelon, lends a hand at one of the group’s food distribution community service events.
  “That’s a super-fun event,”
nity work and her day job, Dung admits that it takes a lot of planning to balance everything.
“I just learned to really prioritize the things and the organizations and peo- ple that bring positivity to my life,” she says. “I think that it’s so important to just surround yourself with pos- itive things. Especially now, I think people really need that. The things that make me happy and bring me joy are the things that I put at the forefront of my sched- ule. And it does take a lot of balancing and prioritizing and, sometimes, even omit- ting things. But, I do my best to try to fit everything in and create more than 24 hours in a day.”
That’s why she’s making time in her busy schedule to
start her new column, “Ma- halo Nui” with MidWeek. In it, she will seek out indi- viduals who people want to thank for doing a good deed.
 (Above) Darah Dung at a community service event for Echelon. (Left) Dung, dog Shiloh and mom Annette attend a previous Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawai‘i Christmas party. PHOTOS COURTESY DARAH DUNG
and end up going home with a puppy — or two. I’m not go- ing to say who,” she adds coy- ly. (It’s her. She quickly notes that’s how she added Gage and Shiloh to her family.)
“I’m so appreciative and grateful to — of course, my family and our community— but Hawai‘i as a whole. I’ m a local girl — born and bred here — and I just hope to give back to the people what I re- ceived growing up here. This is my island home ... I’m the end result of the time and dedication and hard work of people who have supported me.”
With all of her commu-
For Dung, she can un- derstand wanting to thank someone who’s helped. Everything that she does in the community is about honoring and repaying those who’ve invested in her throughout her life.

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