As we continue to see and track the devastation that has been wrought on Hawaii Island in the Puna area, we have been actively engaged in many conversations with other community organizations and governmental entities, most of whom are a part of the Hawaii Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters (VOAD).
Relief efforts are actively occurring on Hawaii Island, and we have heard amazing stories about the help that has been there from individuals, families, community small businesses, national business with locations on island, military, military veterans, emergency management personnel, HELCO, HECO, and MECO workers all working day and night to get the power back on. Thousands and thousands of dollars worth of water, ice, and food have been distributed already.
Cash donations are the most needed donations at this time because it gives responding agencies the ability to not only buy the most needed supplies for those affected, but it also helps with the other critical costs associated with an operation the size of the relief effort in Puna. Cash is needed for the immediate relief effort, but it is also important to keep in mind that the long-term recovery for the community of Puna will require a significant amount of funds as well (demolition, construction, infrastructure improvements, etc.). American Red Cross-Hawaii Chapter, American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank, and Hawaii Island United Way (directly and also in cooperation with Aloha United Way) are all taking donations to assist with this effort. We encourage anyone who wishes to make a monetary donation, to ask the banking institution if you are donating via one of the bank funds, what the funds will be used for and how it will be distributed so you can be sure to target your donation to the area/focus of the response you feel it is needed most.
Helping Hands Hawaii is acting as a receiving point for donors on Oahu, who wish to donate material items to the relief and recovery effort. While clothing and toiletries are what was identified in a recent report as what we are collecting, we’d like to share that while those items will be needed, what is highest priority at this time (and what we are also collecting) for the residents of Puna are things like power generators, battery operated lighting (flashlights, lanterns, etc.) with the batteries to go with it, trash bags, paper products (plates, etc.), and first aid supplies. However, all items are welcome, and the residents of Puna will appreciate whatever you have to give in whatever capacity you have to give it.
Hawaii Foodbank on Oahu is serving as the receiving point for donors on Oahu wishing to donate food and water. On Hawaii Island, the food and water collected by Hawaii Foodbank will be distributed by the Food Basket (who is also collecting donations).
If you would like further information on how you can assist, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAHALO for your support of the residents of Puna and others on Hawaii Island, impacted by Iselle.