Na Hoaloha Wins Prestigious Star Award
By Robin G. Pilus
Na Hoaloha – Neighbors Helping Neighbors – was selected from 281 applicants from 47 states to receive one of 19 prestigious Star Awards from the Beverly Foundation. The $15,000 grant received with this award will help fund the organization’s Aloha Cruisers Program.
The Beverly Foundation fosters new ideas and options to enhance mobility and transportation for today’s and tomorrow’s older adults. Based in Albequerque, New Mexico, the Foundation began its trademark Star Awards in 2000. The Star Awards are provided for supplemental transportation programs for seniors.
Some of the criteria for a Star Award includes 1) delivering transportation to senior passengers; 2) include volunteer drivers in transportation service delivery; 3) be in operation for at least two years; 4) be cognizant of senior friendly practices and 5) demonstrate an ability to identify good practices in delivering transportation services to senior passengers.
The Aloha Cruisers Program gives Maui residents the opportunity to provide rides for seniors and get paid for their mileage. The service helps Kupuna who live alone and have few transportation options.
Na Hoaloha means ‘loving friends’, and is a non-profit organization that was started in 1995 with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide compassionate care for seniors to enable them to stay in their homes and remain independent for as long as possible.
Since its inception, the organization has focused on the ‘gap group’ — the people that are not able to obtain government services for assistance or people who are qualified for services but are not receiving them because of long wait lists.
Na Hoaloha – Neighbors Helping Neighbors – credits its strength in its volunteer base claiming that when other organizations are not able to provide services a client, they are able to do so because they have consistently been able to find a volunteer who will help.
For more information, or to volunteer visit Na Hoaloha or call 249-2545.