HI-DARRT Gives Thanks for Aid Given

HI-DARRT would like to acknowledge the following entities for the contributions they have made to the Kilauea eruption relief effort. The following information has come from the leaders of of of the respective entities:

The American Red Cross of Hawaii raised $900,000 in financial donations and has so far provided over $300,000 in financial assistance and gift certificates to lava evacuees in need.  For 4-1/2 months, 665 Red Cross volunteers worked tirelessly on the relief operation and contributed over 96,000 hours to keep shelters open 24/7, provide casework and emergency financial assistance to 690 families, offer crisis counseling and health services to 10,800 people, distribute thousands of emergency supplies including blankets, pillows, futons, towels, masks, clothing, toiletry kits, and cleanup items, and give out nearly 56,000 snacks to evacuees at the shelters.  In addition, 350 new Big Island volunteers were recruited and 50 courses were held to train them in different areas of response to build local capacity.  Over $250,000 was used for mass care supplies and logistics, including satellite communications equipment, and about $300,000 was needed to deploy, house, and feed volunteers including those from the mainland and neighbor islands.  In order to save on expenses, volunteers stayed in UH Hilo dormitories and at the Sure Foundation and Puna Covenant churches, and in-kind office and warehouse space was donated by UH Hilo and Hawaii Tribune-Herald.  All direct services for the community were coordinated with Hawaii County government and non-profit partners.

Pu‘uhonua o Puna Info & Supply (aka The Hub) was founded as a place of refuge and comfort for those displaced and impacted by the volcanic activities. At the helm of the operations was local boy, Ikaika Marzo, who provided live updates via social media. Everything at the Hub – from set up to supplies distributed – was because of the generosity of folks on the island, across the state and around the world.  The Hub also worked in partnership with World Central Kitchen (WCK) to feed displaced residents, first responders and volunteers. During its three-month operation in Puna, WCK volunteers prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner of more than 700 meals a day, totaling over 60,000 healthy meals. The Hub hosted the Aloha Friday Health & Healing Village, which featured local healers, artists, musicians and doctors in which they gave of their time and talent to create a space where displaced residents and volunteers could receive free services that rejuvenated mind, body and spirit.  The Hub worked in partnership with Project Vision Hawai‘i to host HiEHiE, the O‘ahu-based mobile hygiene trailer that provided hot showers to people experiencing homelessness. The Hub has raised more than $200,000 via GoFundMe and through the Bank of Hawai‘i recovery account.

The Hawaii Community Foundation received over $700,000 in financial donations, which have been used to hire temporary workers for nonprofit organizations that needed more employees to handle the influx of cases resulting from the eruption. The following agencies were able to hire much-needed staff: Neighborhood Place of Puna (case managers), HOPE Services (housing navigator), Catholic Charities (financial and rent assistance coordinator), BISAC (counselor), Food Basket (distribution helper), Legal Aide (legal counselor), Child and Family Services (social worker), Habitat for Humanity (home repair specialist), and Hawaii Community Assets (housing specialists).  Other entities also received grants to fund relief efforts, including Puna Baptist Church, who received $2000 in laundry vouchers for those at the shelter; the UH Foundation who will provide construction training; United Policyholders who provide assistance with insurance claims; and Project Vision, who stationed their mobile bathroom at the Pahoa micro-unit shelter until the on-site bathroom and showers were completed.

Hope Services Hawaii received approximately $150,000 in financial donations mostly through the Hawaii Island United Way, $500,000 worth of in-kind donations from various vendors, and an estimated $300,000 in volunteer hours for a total of about $1 million all going to the construction, management, and maintenance of the 20 micro-units that is currently providing temporary shelter for survivors. 

The Salvation Army coordinated the food service for approximately 62,000 meals at the emergency shelters in the Puna District and regularly purchased meals to support vendors in Pahoa, Keaau, and Volcano Village. In addition, The Salvation Army operated a distribution center at the Pahoa Community Center that provided approximately 2,000 food boxes, 1,600 cases of water, 1,300 hygiene kits, and 2,100 mosquito repellent cans. The Salvation Army also provided financial assistance to those in need with approximately $18,000 in vouchers for use at The Salvation Army’s thrift stores in Hilo, Honokaa, and Kailua-Kona.

The Hawai`i Island’s Food Bank received an estimated $600,000 of in-kind donations including 240,000 pounds of food, water and emergency supplies to support the Kilauea Lava Flow disaster and recovery efforts. Approximately $200,000 in financial donations, including corporate and charitable foundation grants was also received to aid the crisis. Over 550 volunteers provided more than 2280 hours of labor to help with distribution of emergency food and supplies to evacuees and residents affected by the disaster. Additionally, The Food Basket provided food for an estimated 30,000 meals at emergency congregate meal sites and 4200 pounds of food in Keiki Backpacks for child survivors.

Catholic Charities Hawaii served disaster survivors from the Kilauea volcanic eruptions and earthquakes with financial assistance in the form of mortgage, rental and security deposit assistance (if they were not covered by FEMA individual assistance for the same months) as well as HELCO grants for electricity, water catchment clean-up/repair and catchment fill-ups with fresh clean water to restore usage to the household.  Store and gasoline gift cards were given to increase cash flow so limited cash income could be focused on helping to cover housing costs. Other forms of financial assistance provided were transportation assistance (airline baggage fees for seniors permanently relocating, car payments for seniors living in their cars awaiting FEMA determination and bus tickets), beds, special equipment for the disabled, cell phones, storage unit fees and home repair estimates/assessments required by FEMA, along with assistance in filing FEMA appeals for clients.  Catholic Charities Hawaii served 347 unduplicated clients representing 167 households made up of  28 seniors over age 65+, 88 keiki and teens and 231 adults.  Total financial assistance dispersed so far is $186,899.63 and 500 volunteer hours.

Connect Point Church received approximately $160,000 in financial donations from various churches, businesses, and non profits. In kind donations from vendors of about $200,000, and $250,000 in volunteer hours for a total of $610,000 to build, manage and maintain the 11 micro units at Hale Iki Village for survivors of the lava.  Collectively there were over 40 different faith communities who responded to lava survivors 12 different areas of response during this disaster like transportation, storage, laundry vouchers, food preparation, safety equipment for first responders, activities for children in shelter, and many other areas. There was an estimated $1,000,000 of volunteer hours by the faith community. Over $200,000 in financial donation made to purchase vouchers, masks, blankets, clothing, food, water, tents, ect. and $300,000 in-kind donations for a total of $1.5 million dollars. 

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