About Town 05-26-18

  • Chinese contract laborers on a sugar plantation in 19th century Hawaii. (Wikimedia/via Kona Historical Society)

Hawaii Community Foundation partners with AT&T on Text-to-Donate Campaign

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Island Volcano Recovery Fund, created by the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF), together with the Anderson-Beck Fund, Jack’s Fund, the Deviants from the Norm Fund and the Darrin &Darien Gee Family Fund, has raised nearly $90,000 in donations to assist with recovery efforts in support of Hawaii Island communities affected by the Kilauea volcano eruption.

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“All of the generous donations we have received are helping to provide immediate assistance to those impacted by the volcano eruption,” said Micah Kane, president and CEO of HCF. “We know that community needs will evolve, and it may take years for those affected to completely recover.”

Grants from the Hawaii Island Volcano Recovery Fund are being categorized based on three priority areas, including immediate support for urgent needs for those displaced, support for some level of normalcy, and longer term recovery support for those communities affected by the eruptions. Within a week of creating this fund, HCF has distributed the first round of grants, totaling $32,000 to the following two organizations:

• Neighborhood Place of Puna

This organization is serving as coordinating entity for the nonprofits providing responses. They are building on an informal network of 30 nonprofit agencies that came together after Hurricane Iselle. Initial funding will support purchase of a case management database system so that all the agencies have access to a common database of individual needs in order to coordinate aid and increased staffing for three months to manage the database and coordinate the responses.

• Puna Baptist Church

The church is coordinating efforts around laundry for those displaced by the eruptions. Liliuokalani Trust provided washers and dryers and a local laundromat is providing discounted services. The churches are providing detergent and will distribute vouchers to be redeemed at the laundromat. The grant will cover the cost of the vouchers.

Donations to the Hawai‘i Island Volcano Recovery Fund can also be made online at HawaiiCommunityFoundation.org/volcanorecovery or by mail at Hawai‘i Community Foundation, 827 Fort Street Mall, Honolulu, HI, 96813.

KHS presents talk on plantation communities

Kona Historical Society returns to the West Hawaii Civic Center with this month’s Hanohano ‘O Kona, featuring a presentation about historical plantation communities from Eileen “Momi” Naughton, Heritage Center Coordinator of the North Hawaii Education and Research Center.

In the late 1800s, the early days of the Honoka’a Sugar Plantation’s operation, most of the workforce was Hawaiian.

As the company grew, people from various parts of the world came to work on the plantation: Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Koreans, Filipinos, Russians and Spaniards. The plantation furnished for free use about two hundred houses for its employees, laid out in villages containing outdoor cookhouses, bathhouses, laundries, and running water. Free fuel was also supplied for cooking and heating water.

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Momi’s presentation will highlight the plantation history of Honokaa through the lens of NHERC’s collections and exhibits. The exhibits and collections are curated as a way to empower the Honokaa community to tell the diverse stories of their history.

Info: Kona Historical Society, 323-3222 or www.konahistorical.org.