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Where to get services and how to help after Iselle

August 18, 2014 - 12:05am

A number of community businesses and organizations have been providing relief for storm victims in Puna and other parts of the island, as well as offering services for people affected by the the storm. Here are a few:

• The North Hawaii Education and Research Center in Honokaa is collecting items to aid Puna residents. Suggested donations include toiletries, drinking water, toilet paper, towels, blankets, tarps, batteries and nonperishable food. Collection hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 45-539 Plumeria Street, Honokaa. Email, find the center on Facebook or call 775-8890 for more information. NHERC is not able to accept donations of ice, but the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Komohana Extension and Experiment Station in Hilo is accepting both ice and water. Contact them directly for more information.

• Looking to volunteer to help? Call “All Hands Volunteers” at 464-3175 or (617) 657-4199.

• CBRE Cares and Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii will be at the Summer Cruise at Lanihau Center Aug. 16 to collect donations for the Puna residents affected by the storm. They will be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the tent in the south end parking lot near Buns in the Sun. Items requested are: canned goods, rice, bottled water, C& D Batteries, 5 gallon and stove sized propane canisters, propane stoves, baby food, cat and dog food, Ziploc bags, paper goods, trash bags, solar lights, flash lights, wind up alarm clocks, hand held radios, tiki torch fluid, lamp oil, 140 inverters for car, First Aid Kits, antibiotic creams, bandages, baby wipes, and insulated freezer bags. Monetary donations can be made out to Hawaii Island United Way, with a note on check stating Hurricane Iselle Relief Fund.

• The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency recommends donating to the American Red Cross Hawaii chapter at 734-2101 or online at Those wishing to volunteer for the Red Cross should visit the website.

• Five libraries in the Puna District will provide Wi-Fi service around the clock until electrical power is restored in the area, State Librarian Richard Burns said Wednesday. The five libraries — Keaau Public & School Library, Mountain View Public & School Library, Pahoa Public & School Library, Pahala Public & School Library, and Naalehu Public Library — will maintain their normal hours. Wi-Fi access will be available as far as the signal extends beyond the perimeter of the buildings. Users should connect to the HSPLS-Iselle Network. Visit a library or for more information.

• Farmers suffering damage from Iselle may be eligible for low-interest loans from the state Agricultural Loan Division. An agricultural loan officer will be at two Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers on the island. Jointly operated by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and Hawaii County, the centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Friday at Pahoa Community Center on Puna Road and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Mountain View Gym on Volcano Road. The Hawaii Board of Agriculture has the authority to approve the parameters for the emergency loan program. Farmers needing loans of $25,000 or less may apply for micro-loans for swifter processing and faster approvals. If possible, farmers should bring photos of damage with them to the centers. Those unable to make it to the centers may call the Hilo office at 933-9975. For more information about agricultural loans, call the division at 973-9460 or go to

• L & L Hawaiian Barbecue in Pahoa will give free plate lunches and cold drinks to the first 500 people in line from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at 427 Pahoa Road in Puna to assist in the relief efforts. While supplies last, residents may select from kalua pork and cabbage or hamburger steak with gravy, along with a selection of Pepsi drinks.

• All 67 Bank of Hawaii branches across the state will be accepting donations to support relief efforts on Hawaii Island following the damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle. All donations will go to Hawaii Island United Way. Check donations may be made payable to: Kokua Puna, and deposited at any Bank of Hawaii branch. Cash donations are also being accepted. Bank of Hawaii Foundation is also donating $25,000 to Hawaii Island United Way, which is coordinating relief efforts on Hawaii Island. Bank of Hawaii is also offering several emergency financial assistance loan programs, aimed to provide those affected by Tropical Storm Iselle access to cash, which may be used for emergency supplies and living essentials, home and/or vehicle repair or to bridge working capital needs.

• A free legal hotline will be available for Puna residents affected by Tropical Storm Iselle, Hawaii State Bar Association President Calvin Young announced Thursday. The hotline, which can be reached by calling 888-609-5463, will be established at the association’s headquarters in Honolulu and will be staffed by volunteer attorneys, he said. It will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The line was established following consultation with representatives from the East Hawaii Bar Association, the HSBA Senior Counsel Division, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. All concluded that the creation of the legal hotline would be the best avenue for attorneys to offer their services to assist Big Island residents affected by last week’s storm.

• Donation collections to assist residents affected by Iselle are being accepted by Hawaii Island United Way and Hospice of Hilo. The Hawaii Island United Way is also in need of volunteers to assist with phone calls and emails. For more information, go to

• Donations of water, ice and food can be taken to the Food Basket in Hilo and Kona. For more information, call 933-6030.

• Nonfood donations can be taken to HOPE Services in Hilo or the Neighborhood Place of Kona in Kailua-Kona. Items requested are C and D batteries; 5-gallon and stove-sized propane canisters; propane stoves; paper goods; trash bags; solar lights; flash lights; wind-up alarm clocks; hand-held radios; tiki torch fluid; lamp oil; baby wipes; 140 inverters for car; first aid items; antibiotic cream; bandages; and insulated freezer bags.

• Donations can be dropped off at any American Savings Bank branch to support Iselle victims through the Hawaii State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Hurricane Iselle Long-Term Relief and Recovery Fund.• KapohoKine Adventures, which provides guided tours and hikes in Kona, Hilo and Volcano, was one of the first private businesses to reach out to the residents of Puna after Tropical Storm Iselle hit last week. The company emptied its Kona and Hilo warehouses’ ice and water supply and delivered those items to the Pahoa distribution point. KapohoKine Adventures also called out to other businesses for refrigerated and nonperishable donations, and acting as a collection point, representatives have made numerous delivery runs. The company secured and delivered 5,000 pounds of ice, donated by Norwegian Cruise Line. Harper Car & Truck Rental contributed to the cause with the use of a refrigerated truck to haul ice to Puna. The cruise line also donated 50 boxed lunches.

• The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division staff and volunteers for The Salvation Army provided meals and shelter for residents and visitors across the state while the storm advanced, and they have been helping in Puna since the storm left. On Hawaii Island, they also provided food and water to 35 families through their food pantry in Honokaa and provided ice, coolers, water, propane tanks and canisters and gas cards in Puna on Tuesday.

• First Hawaiian Bank has established the Aloha for Puna fund to assist Big Island residents in the Puna region with relief and recovery efforts following storm Iselle. The bank has contributed the first $25,000 to the fund. Monetary donations are being accepted at all First Hawaiian Bank branches. All contributions to the fund will be donated to the Hawaii Island United Way, directly benefiting affected residents through their member agencies in Puna. In addition to the monetary donation, First Hawaiian Bank customers affected by the storm are encouraged to call 643-5626 for assistance with loans and credit card payments. Those interested in making a monetary contribution to the Aloha For Puna fund may do so at any First Hawaiian Bank branch through Sept. 30.

• Central Pacific Bank has a hurricane assistance loan program to help residents on the Big Island affected by Hurricane Iselle. The program features low interest rates, flexible loan terms, reduced monthly payments, fast approval and quick funding. The loan amounts range from $1,000 to $15,000 with terms up to 48 months. For more information on Central Pacific Bank’s Hurricane Iselle loan program, call the bank’s customer service center at 544-0500 or visit any CPB branch.

• Hawaiian Telcom has set up phones and free Wi-Fi access at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches to assist Puna residents who are without service. Residents can use the phones to make free local calls on the Big Island. To take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, consumers should bring their own wireless devices, such as laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. The Hawaiian Shores Community Center is located at 15-458 Kahakai Street in Puna. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• More than two dozen Hawaii Gas employees volunteered to provide 400 hot meals to Big Island residents affected by Iselle. Employees passed out meals at the Nanawale Community Association. Hawaii Gas cooked 150 pounds of chicken, 24 cans of Spam, lots of corned beef and corn. Hawaii Gas is also loaning propane cylinders to those who really need it until power is restored.

• Central Pacific Bank has donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross to help residents on the Big Island and Maui who were affected by Iselle. The money will help American Red Cross continue its efforts to provide food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning, and other assistance to those in need. In addition to the cash donation, CPB has also launched a hurricane assistance loan program, which features low interest rates, flexible loan terms, reduced monthly payments, fast approval and quick funding. The loan amounts range from $1,000 to $15,000 with terms up to 48 months.

• Hawaii Farmers & Ranchers UNITED, Hawaii Crop Improvement Association and W.H. Shipman are providing recovery information and a rally for Big Island farmers affected by Iselle. The event will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at the W.H. Shipman Office, located at 16-523 Keaau Pahoa Road in Keaau. Resources will come from the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Farm Service Agency, Hawaii County, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Kava Zip Micro Loan. Food will be provided, too.

• KHON2 is hosting a telethon to raise money for the American Red Cross Hawaii State Chapter. Phone lines will be open from 4:30 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at 591-6336. Besides distributing more than 18,000 relief items, such as tarps, batteries, water, ice, coolers and bleach, and serving more than 4,000 meals and snacks, Red Cross volunteer nurses and mental health workers have helped 900 residents with health assessments and crisis counseling. Since Aug. 7, there have been 2,508 overnight stays at 32 Red Cross shelters statewide. Volunteers have also responded to eight residential fires within a span of nine days.

• Locally owned and operated Big Island companies – Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store – have come together to design and print exclusive limited edition “ALOHA PUNA” fundraiser shirts, in an effort to assist the Puna community. The shirts will be sold for $20 each, with all proceeds to benefit the Hawaii Island United Way for recovery efforts in Puna. “ALOHA PUNA” fundraiser shirts will be available for purchase at the Aloha Grown store in downtown Hilo (224 Kamehameha Ave.), Creative Arts Hawaii in Keaukaha, Hilo (500 Kalanianaole Ave.) and the Parker Ranch store in Waimea (Parker Ranch Center). For more information, visit

• The Lions Club of Hawaii are helping Puna residents with much needed support in many ways after the storm, including leading to the Lions Clubs International Foundation to award a $15,000 Disaster Relief and Recovery Grant. With that grant, the Hawaii Lions purchased and sent 22 FEMA-grade generators for free to be used on an as-needed basis to serve the remote area along the lower Puna coastal road on the Big Island. Having mobile generator power will quickly assist their community with the continued outage and personal property damage that could affect the Puna area for another four to six weeks. In addition, the District 50 Hawaii Lions Foundation donated $10,000 into the hurricane relief efforts in Puna. The grant will supply a one month’s use of a 25 kilovolt-amps generator and fuel to the non-profit retreat center, Kalani Honua. There are about 300 people at the center including volunteers, staff, guests, as well as the residents of Kalani KaiLLC. The generator will supply enough power to keep large refrigerators and freezers running, make more ice, run the lights and electronics, and provide charging stations for electronic devices.

By local sources

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