Foundations step up flood relief efforts

LIHU’E — The Hawai’i Community Foundation’s (HCF) flood relief fund, the Kaua’i Island Fund, has been growing with a total of about $15,000 donated as of yesterday afternoon.

“People have been calling,” Deborah Rice, HCF’s Foundation officer and manager of the Kaua’i office said. “Just today, we had two visitors who had called earlier, and on their way home, stopped by the office to write some nice checks.”

Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Co., has led the efforts with a presentation of $5,000 to the fund.

“In the HCF Lihu’e office, we are in constant communication with authorities to assess the needs of families directly impacted by the breach of the Ka Loko Reservoir dam,” Rice said in a press release.

Currently, it appears that those families’ immediate needs are being met. Mid- to longer-term needs will likely be supported by the Kaua’i Island Fund.

Rice said once those needs are identified, the best way to address the issues will be to provide support to the non-profit organizations serving the Kilauea area.

No fees will be charged on donations to the Kaua’i Island Fund. One hundred percent of all donations will go towards providing assistance to Kaua’i families, Rice said.

HCF is currently working with the Red Cross, Kaua’i Hospice, the Kaua’i Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and other organizations to support their flood relief efforts.

Rice added that at one point, she “volunteered” her office help assist the Red Cross.

Randy Yokoyama, Monsanto Hawai’i’s Hanapepe manager, is also personally involved with the results of the recent deluge that has soaked the island.

Yokoyama explained that —one of his workers was injured by falling rocks in Hanapepe Valley, and has only now returned home following treatment at an O’ahu medical facility.

“HCF is a well-respected and well-established organization. They are considered leaders in Hawai’i’s nonprofit world,” Yokoyama said. “The HCF’s Kaua’i Island Fund is an excellent way to help our island ‘ohana.”

The Monsanto Fund is a private foundation and has made significant contributions to other disasters such as the tsunami in 2004, and Hurricane Katrina, Yokoyama explained. “It’s great that they’re able to provide funding close to home when it’s needed.”

HCF is a statewide charitable services and grantmaking institution endowed with contributions from many donors. The HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends.

For questions related to the Kaua’i Island Fund, call Rice at 245-4585.

Contributions may be made out to “The Kaua’i Island Fund,” 4370 Kukui Grove St., Suite 207, Lihu’e, Hawai’i 96766.

The donations are fully tax deductible.

For more information on the HCF, visit the Web site at hawaiicommunityfoundation.org.

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