Kōkua Hāna Donation Drive Held in Support of COVID Response in East Maui
Several thousand items were collected during a four-hour Kōkua Hāna donation drive held Saturday, Aug. 28, at Kahului Shopping Center.
Maui residents and businesses responded to a request for support put out by Project Ho’omana, a grassroots Hāna-based organizations whose volunteers have been at the forefront of since the pandemic began last year.
An uptick in COVID-19 cases and the number of quarantined households created an urgent need for personal protection items and household items for East Maui residents who face limited availability of goods in the remote East Maui community.
Hāna has had 17 COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days. That represents nearly 40% of all cases reported since the start of the pandemic for the East Maui zip code.
More than 100 vehicles dropped of donations at the event. The packed 15-foot cargo vehicle left Kahului that afternoon for Hāna where Project Ho’omana volunteers unpacked and began coordination for distribution.
Among the items collected and distributed were several thousand masks, hundreds of face shields, sanitizing and cleaning supplies, cases of water and a variety of household items. Cash donations and gift cards from residents were part of the contributions that will bring needed help to the organization as it continues its pandemic response in the East Maui community.
“It was overwhelming to experience the generosity and aloha from people and businesses who came from across Maui. We had an amazing day that blessed us from start to finish with incredible support for Hāna and all of East Maui and we are grateful beyond belief,” said Lei Perry, who along with her two daughters Hāna High School students Pristine and Tyra-Li, founded Project Ho’omana in 2019. Since Project Ho’omana began its work, the sisters have logged more than 900 hours providing organizing leadership and distributing support throughout East Maui.
“When Maui comes together to kōkua, it’s a reminder of being Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi. Whether someone gave one item, a trunk full of items or donated their time to volunteer that day, it all added up to a tremendous donation,” said Kōkua Hāna organizer Mahina Martin who acknowledged retail store Target for kicking off the day with a donation of two pallets of supplies and cases of items that included 2,000 disposable masks. “With Target’s contribution, the donation drive started in a big way and from there it just kept growing.”
Donations are still being accepted by utilizing Amazon’s Project Ho’omana/Leinaala Perry Wish List and Venmo@Project-Hoomana. For more information on Project Ho’omana, contact Lei Perry at 214-0362.
Project Ho’omana extended thanks to A&B properties, the Hāna Community Association, Na’auao Traffic Control, Tina Boteilho, Lisa and Halemanu Villiarimo, and Only Ono BBQ for their event support.