S.O.S. seeks back-to-school supplies


The Friends of the Children of West Hawaii is launching its first S.O.S., or Supply our Students, drive to collect school supplies for children and youth in the community who have been abused, neglected or witnessed violent crime.

The Friends of the Children of West Hawaii will accept donations of school supplies from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Walmart in Kailua-Kona and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19 at Longs/CVS in Waimea.

Monetary donations can also be made by calling the organization’s office at 331-2425 or online through its website at friendsofthechildrenwh.com.

Children in the community who have been abused or neglected face incredible challenges in their young lives, as result of changes in their living and financial environment. Whether the child is placed in foster care, with extended family, or is a resident of the domestic abuse shelter, it is often a financial challenge for a parent or caregiver to provide for the child’s basic needs. At the beginning of the school year, the financial stress increases for these families as they struggle to cover the cost of the growing list of required school supplies.

The goal of the S.O.S. project is to provide each and every one of the children and youth who has been a victim of abuse or neglect with all the school supplies he needs to start the school year on a positive note.

First Hawaiian Bank’s Community Care employee volunteers will be at each location assisting with the collection of donated school supplies. This community service project is part of First Hawaiian Bank’s Community Care Employee Volunteer Service Program, a new philanthropic initiative launched earlier in the year that connects the bank’s 2,200 employees with nonprofits in need of volunteer assistance. Throughout 2014, teams of bank employees are partnering with nonprofits to organize community service activities on all islands and on Guam and Saipan. First Hawaiian, its Foundation and employees have also donated more than $10 million to charities in the past four years.

Friends of the Children of West Hawaii has been providing assistance to children who have been abused, neglected or witnessed violent crime for more than 25 years. Its goal is “To Help a Victim Become A Child Again.” For more information, contact Bev Fraser at 936-9965 or email friendscwh@gmail.com.