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Hana Hou: Maui Collection Drive To Help Puna Evacuees Will Take Place Saturday and Sunday

In response to the escalating conditions Puna evacuees and community organizations on Hawai’i Island are facing, a second collection drive will take place this weekend in Kahului.

In a hana hou effort, this weekend’s Kōkua Puna will be held in the parking lot of Kahului Shopping Center from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

“We are grateful for the generosity of Young Brothers for waiving the shipping cost and to A&B, Quick Tow and Na’auao Traffic Control for their support. This second drive for Puna is a result of evacuees and community organizations on Hawai’i Island reaching out for kokua,” said Mahina Martin, one of the drive’s organizers. “We needed to move quickly to be able to help with escalating conditions happening in Puna and the fact that these companies didn’t hesitate to give their support along with the outpouring of encouragement for another drive from our community is a testament to Maui being truly no ka ‘oi.”

According to co-organizer Tiare Lawrence the 20 ft container will be shipped to Hilo to nonprofit Food Basket Hawai’i who will coordinate distribution to various grassroots organizations working on the frontlines, including to Hawai’i Lava Flow Animal Rescue Network. “Our hope is to send a full 20 ft container as another gift of aloha for Puna to help offer much-needed relief. Our hearts go out to them, it’s a really difficult time and we want to help,” said Lawrence.

Martin, Lawrence and Zeke Kalua who just several weeks ago combined separate efforts to organize a community drive for a shipment of a 20 ft. container of donations to Kaua’i following a flooding disaster, also led a drive in response to Puna evacuations three weeks later. “When we held the donation drive for Puna just a few weeks ago, we saw how much Maui cares,” said Kalua. “People gave what they could and every donation mattered. We filled up the shipping container and sent it to Hawai’i Island knowing that it was going to make a big difference.”

Items needed are:

Safety respirators, non-perishable food, bottled water (5 gallon bottled water is encouraged), baby items (wipes, diapers), pet food (dogs, cats, birds, etc), pet supplies, solar outdoor lights, personal and feminine hygiene items, outdoor gear (tarps, pop-up tents, camping tents, cots), flashlights, batteries, bug repellent, small to medium size coolers, trash bags, laundry soap, can openers. Walmart and gas station gift cards are also requested.

Used clothing are not being accepted. Donated items should be in new condition.

To volunteer or for more information call 280-9111 or 276-7685.

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