Maui residents and businesses filled a second 20 ft shipping container in a two-day hana hou Kokua Puna donation drive held this weekend for evacuees.
Donations, including non-perishable food, water, camping gear, pet food and baby diapers packed the container to the ceiling. Over twenty volunteers were kept busy during the drive unloading truckloads and carloads of donations.
In addition to items collected to fill the shipping container, close to $3,000 in cash and store gift cards were received.
In Hilo, non-profit Food Basket Hawaii will receive the container and coordinate distribution of donated items to evacuees and frontline community groups that are providing services and support to impacted areas in Puna. “Our partnership with Hilo-based nonprofit Food Basket Hawaii is critical,” said Mahina Martin. “They have the warehousing, staff and volunteer structure and ability to distribute directly to evacuees and to different support groups on the frontlines of the disaster.”
One of those groups is the Hawaii Lava Flow Animal Rescue Network who informed Martin that they were in great need for pet food and supplies. In response, over 200 cases and large bags of pet food are included in the container along with a large amount of pet supplies.”
Martin, who along with Zeke Kalua and Tiare Lawrence, recently led two other donation drives. The first drive for Kaua’i victims of severe flooding was held several weeks ago, followed soon after with the first Kokua Puna drive. In each effort a filled shipping container was sent from Maui.
“Because of the generosity of the people of Maui and with support from Young Brothers Ltd., Quick Tow, A&B, Na’auao Traffic Control, Maui Gold-Haliimaile Distilling Company and Alpha Hawai’i we are able to send another gift box of aloha to Puna – a very large gift box.” said Martin.
In describing the tremendous support recieved, Kalua said, “It’s times like these when the community comes together for something greater than ourselves that makes Maui no ka oi. I’m honored to be amongst so many wonderful people and thankful every day.”
“Maui continues to inspire me with the outpouring of support and aloha during this difficult time. A special mahalo to all of the volunteers and sponsors. Maui definitely knows how to pull together in time of need. From the best of Maui hope, love, and support to the best of Puna,” said Lawrence.
The container of Maui donations departs Kahului Harbor Tuesday and is expected to arrive in Hilo harbor early next week.