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$132,500 in Emergency Grants to Support Landslide Resilience on Kaua‘i

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$132,500 in Emergency Grants to Support Landslide Resilience Efforts on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. Photo: Loading taro onto big wave surfer Laird Hamilton’s dock. PC: Hawai‘i Community Foundation

Hawai‘i Community Foundation announced $132,500 in grant funding to support emergency response efforts on the island of Kaua‘i following flash flooding that resulted in a massive landslide cutting off road access to the North Shore last week Thursday.

The grants are made possible by donations to the Kaua‘i Strong Fund, which was created to build community resilience by providing resources for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. 

The 10 grants, made available within days of the disaster and ranging from $7,500 to $15,000, will support community efforts helping those trapped on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. These efforts include mobilizing the transportation of food, supplies and key personnel by boat and ATVs; makeshift refuse stations; emergency shelters for displaced residents; food distribution and more.

$132,500 in Emergency Grants to Support Landslide Resilience Efforts on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. Photo: Workers from Limahuli Gardens and the Hui Maka‘āinana O Makana heading to Hā’ena by boat. PC: Hawai‘i Community Foundation

“We are incredibly grateful to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation for providing grants-in-aid toward our continuing Kaua‘i emergency response efforts,” says Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami. “Our entire island has been affected by this disaster, which has once again isolated our North Shore community. Yet our residents remain resilient, and within just a few days, have shown their strength, compassion, and selflessness are truly without comparison. Mahalo to all who have already donated much of their time and funding, mahalo to Kamehameha Schools and Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg for your generous contributions to HCF in support of these important grants, and mahalo to each and every person and nonprofit partner for quickly coming together to help our communities in need. We will overcome these challenges together, because at the heart of our efforts are people like you.” 

“HCF has long-standing relationships with the nonprofit sector and we know that in crisis, organizations provide the ground-level intelligence and historic wisdom to lead us toward positive solutions,” said Darcie Yukimura, vice president of philanthropy at HCF. “The grants issued today follow a trust-based philanthropy model where the organizations are being relied upon to use their leadership and resources to best serve their community. Our hearts go out to the Hanalei, Wainiha and Hā‘ena communities.”

$132,500 in Emergency Grants to Support Landslide Resilience Efforts on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. Photo: Joel Guy from Hanalei Inititive and Robin Pratt, philanthropy officer at HCF. PC: Hawai‘i Community Foundation

The nonprofits receiving grants and its intended use include:

  • Malama Kaua‘i – Weekly food distribution of local agriculture boxes and locally produced protein delivered by boat from Princeville to Hanalei until Kūhiō Highway reopens.
  • Hale Hālāwai – Community hub in Hanalei being used as emergency management center providing an emergency shelter and commercial kitchen for the community, including displaced residents and the fire and police departments.
  • Waipā Foundation – Community hub in Hanalei providing poi for local residents and being used as community kitchen, food distribution, farmers market and refuse station.
  • Hui Maka‘āinana O Makana – Provide food and care for residents of Wainiha and Haena, especially kupuna. 
  • National Tropical Botanical Gardens, Limahuli Gardens – Provision of personnel and equipment (such as ATVs) to support impacted residents in Wainiha and Hā‘ena.
  • Hawaii Foodbank, Kaua‘i – Work with partner agencies to provide food for 500-700 families in the Hanalei, Wainiha and Haena areas on a weekly basis.
  • Nourish Kaua‘i – Support fuel for boats and ATVs, feed the volunteers and residents, and manage a “wish list” of community needs. 
  • Hanalei Initiative – Coordinate the transportation of food and supplies needed by residents from Hanalei boat yard to Princeville, as well as providing a boat and ATV shuttle service.
  • Kaua‘i Food Hub – Provide emergency food and CSA boxes to families in need.
  • Kaua‘i Independent Foodbank – Deliver food to their partners on the North Shore to help families in need and coordinate with partner sites to reach those in the community who may also have been affected by the flooding on the south and west sides.
Photo: Joel Guy from Hanalei Inititive and Paulina Ann from Kaua’i Food Hub at St. William’s Food Pantry in Hanalei. PC: Hawai‘i Community Foundation

“It is amazing how quickly the community came together to devise such a massive transportation system — over a river in boats, up a mountain on ATVs, shuttling back and forth” says Joel Guy, executive director of Hanalei Initiative. “It’s proof that leveraging trusted private and public partnerships can make a community resilient when a crisis hits. The 2018 flood helped build those and in this emergency response, we are able to rely on that important work.”

Kamehameha Schools has contributed $30,000 and the Chan Zuckerberg Kaua‘i Community Fund has committed $60,000 to the Kaua‘i Strong Fund to support this first tranche of support. 

“Kamehameha Schools is grateful for Hawai‘i Community Foundation and the Kaua‘i Strong Fund as willing partners,” says Buffy Trugillo, Kamehameha Schools director, Kaua‘i/Ni‘ihau. “Working together allowed us to help uplift Kauai’s North Shore community and support the dedicated volunteers, nonprofits, and ‘Ōiwi leaders moving swiftly to help those in need. These collaborative efforts are what help empower the community to overcome these challenges.”


In April 2018, Kaua‘i experienced over 50 inches of water within 24 hours, resulting in 12 landslides and widespread flooding. HCF quickly responded by creating the Kaua‘i Relief and Recovery Fund to support emergency response efforts. Later, HCF created Strong Funds for each of the four counties to prepare and strengthen communities for disasters and to rapidly respond when they happen. 


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