Volunteers seek people to help

  • Courtesy of Anna Meyers

    Pandemic of Love Kaua’i volunteers show their kindness rocks.

  • Courtesy of Anna Meyers

    Pandemic of Love Kaua’i volunteers are masked and socially distant on a North Shore beach.

KAPA‘A — With a surplus of donors, the Pandemic of Love Kaua‘i is in search of people in need of financial assistance.

“We have people with resources who want to help people,” Pandemic of Love Kaua‘i volunteer Anna Myers said. “This is a matchmaking community, and the donor will have one-on-one contact with the person in need.”

The Pandemic of Love’s focus is the community, and is looking to help the people on Kaua‘i.

The organization’s mission statement is to connect people in need on Kaua‘i with patrons who can assist them with their small bills.

“We are looking for more donors, as eventually more people will be asking for help,” Myers said. “We are looking for more core organizations and businesses to be supporters of the Pandemic of Love Kaua‘i so we can help more people.”

Making connections

When Kaua‘i resident Shanna Mora learned of Kapa‘a small business owner Eric Burton’s financial hardship, she didn’t hesitate to offer her assistance.

Mora, a donor to PLK, offered Burton financial relief to keep his business open.

For the last six years, Burton has owned and operated The Kaua‘i Store, specializing in unique gift items made on Kaua‘i.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burton has struggled to keep his small business alive, and accumulated an amount of debt that stifled his progress.

With most of his income generated from the business gone, Burton converted half of his store into a food pantry to start a movement, even though he is one of the people who needs help.

“I am poor like everyone else, and I did qualify to receive help through the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program,” Burton said.

Pushing forward

Despite losing his income, Burton still pushed forward with his movement to help feed others in the Kaua‘i community.

Kaua‘i volunteer Sue Buckley introduced Burton to PLK.

Because of Burton’s outreach and exceptional circumstances, the organization extended its own outreach to help him seek additional financial assistance to maintain his capacity to help others.

But since Burton’s need was more than PLK usually offers, Mora stepped up to help Burton to sustain himself for a couple of months.

“He has such a heartfelt desire to give back to the community in an impactful way, and his driving energy is what motivated me to create this for him,” Mora said. “We were able to help him out, and in doing so we helped the community.”

The Florida-based Pandemic of Love boasts 650 volunteers, 300 matches between people and families in need and over $38 million in direct transactions since the organization started March 14.

For more information on the Pandemic of Love, for donors or those seeking help, see the Facebook page fb.me/PandemicOfLoveKauai, or the website pandemicoflovekauai.com.

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Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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