Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 |
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Contributed by Rotary in Hawai‘i
Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay member Marion Paul assists in preparing bags of food at the North Shore Food Pantry.
Rotary Club of Po‘ipu Beach members Ted Faigle and Rick Golba assist Malama Kaua‘i in delivering Kupuna Kare program fresh produce to seniors.
HONOLULU — Rotary International District 5000, spanning the state of Hawai‘i, has awarded a total of $31,000 in grants to Rotary clubs throughout the islands to support COVID-19 relief projects.
Clubs will use these grants to work with nonprofit partners in their local communities to provide COVID-19 relief.
One major grant of $5,000 and five grants of $1,000 are awarded across six different projects on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i Island. In addition, all 52 Rotary clubs in Hawai‘i each receive $400 to use in COVID-19 relief projects.
The Rotary Club of Kapa‘a will use a $1,000 grant for their project to assist some local restaurants to keep people employed. Each week they will partner with a restaurant to enable and promote a special menu of takeout food.
“Rotary is about helping people in our local communities,” said Eric Kaler, district governor of Rotary in Hawai‘i. “We are mobilizing and re-deploying funds to enable our Hawai‘i clubs to do even more to provide relief for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A $5,000 grant will be shared by 10 O‘ahu Rotary clubs collaborating to source and distribute plastic face shields for first responders and health-care workers on the island. In addition to the grant, the clubs will inject another $3,600 for the project.
The masks are being sourced from Min Plastics, a Honolulu company that has previously worked with O‘ahu Rotary clubs. They have over 70 years of fabrication experience in the plastic industry, and began producing face shields in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rotary club members from the O‘ahu clubs will assemble and distribute the face shields to local hospitals and first responders, including Emergency Medical Services and the Honolulu Fire Department. The clubs expect to help 300 individuals directly with these supplies.
Laine Kohama is a Rotary assistant district governor on O‘ahu who brought the clubs together to discuss ideas. “The clubs very quickly agreed to collaborate on one major project,” said Kohama. “Among the ideas, it was decided to focus on our first responders and medical personnel,” he added.
According to Dr. James Ham, president of the Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunset and an emergency-room physician at Straub Medical Center, “It is so valuable to those of us in health care to have the support of community organizations like Rotary in the face of this pandemic. Additional donations of personal protective equipment are greatly appreciated.”
Rotary Clubs of Downtown Honolulu, Ala Moana, eClub Hawaii, Eco Kaka‘ako, Waikiki, Honolulu Sunrise, Hawai‘i Kai, Diamond Head, East Honolulu and Kahala Sunrise are the clubs working together.
$1,000 goes to the Rotary Club of Metropolitan Honolulu. They will use the funds for The Food Basket’s “Keiki Backpack” program. This program provides nutritional supplements to low-income, elementary-school-aged children in selected schools based on need.
The Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu will use its $1,000 grant for food distribution programs with the YMCA of Honolulu. The YMCA has provided grab-and-go meals for families and is also a U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program sponsor.
A $1,000 grant was also awarded to the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise on Maui. They will be procuring and assembling masks and other personal protective equipment for medical workers on Maui.
On Hawai‘i Island, a $1,000 grant goes to the Rotary Club of Kona. They are procuring supplies and volunteering with The Salvation Army food bank to provide food for those effected by job losses due to COVID-19 regulations.
The Rotary Hawai‘i District 5000 funds come from dues and donations from Rotary club members across the islands. Funds that were budgeted this year for conferences, training and travel have been re-allocated to these CVID-19 grants.
Rotary clubs across the islands are staying actively connected during the pandemic using online meetings, social media and email. Club members are volunteering to sew face masks, shop for supplies for kupuna, deliver food, provide financial information and support food banks and programs in their local communities.
Rotary clubs on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Maui have also created Facebook groups for “Caremongering” on their islands. These groups are open to the public and serve to connect people and resources for COVID-19 pandemic assistance.
Rotary Hawai‘i District 5000 comprises 1,600 members in 52 clubs in the state of Hawai‘i. More information about Rotary in Hawai‘i is found at rotaryinhawaii.org and rotaryd5000.org.
The district is part of Rotary International. Rotary International comprises 1.2 million volunteers in 35,000 Rotary clubs around the world. Club members contribute their time, energy and passion to sustainable, long-term projects in local communities across the globe.
Projects focus on important issues like peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy and economic and community development. More information is found at rotary.org.
The Rotary International Convention was scheduled to be held in Honolulu in June and was expected to bring in 25,000 Rotary club members from all over the world. That event was canceled due to COVID-19.
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