Aloha Spirit : The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Aloha is not just a greeting mouthed during a visit to Hawaii. It is a lifestyle everyone needs to emulate.

My first visit to Oahu circa 2004.

Every time I see the photo of hubby and I on my first visit  (his second) to Oahu, my love for the islands and the spirit of Aloha fills my heart with so much joy! Now, I am more of a ‘scentsitive’ type of traveler that scents are imprinted where ever I roam. The scents of Jasmine from the Hawaiian Islands, orange blossoms of Seville, burning Frankincense in Oman, Cardamom from my Karak tea in Bahrain, Sandalwood oil in Cairo, warm ocean breeze in Southern California, and fresh pine trees from the Pacific Northwest. Such a powerful reminder of places that I have been and each left a lingering mark to remind me to come back.

We recently visited Maui this year and it coincided with the current events in Big Island’s volcanic eruptions of Mount Kilauea. Madame Pele is indeed restructuring the island’s landscape. In the midst of it all, I remained in touch with a good friend of mine, Terrilani who lives in Hilo with her family. I followed more of her Facebook posts than what is being shared from major news channels.

Terrilani’s posts depicted real time events and personal stories from her community. In her own words, “Big Island people taking care of each other. So proud to live here.” This is how a true community mobilizes when challenges face them directly. Each person contributing individual efforts to assist others, an immediate response not for personal gain but out of the purest intent of helping.

Same community response was observed in Kauai from the record-breaking rains that smothered the island and caused massive flooding. People immediately rounded off livestock without waiting for any governmental assistance. As one of my friends who is also from Hawaii, Ronnie puts it perfectly, "We gotta have our grinds."

Terrilani sums up the Aloha Spirit we can all practice and bring to our individual communities;

Big Island. Eruption in the subdivision, multiple and very strong earthquakes. General mayhem. People respond with orderly evacuations, neighbors helping neighbors, shelters actually feed the evacuees.

Kauai. Massive flooding, very frightening and destructive. People respond by helping each other dig out and clean up, are already rebuilding. Medical personnel open free clinics and give away supplies sh those getting hurt and sickened by clean up efforts can receive immediate care. Needs of communities are updated daily so people know where donations should go.

To extend help, here's the information posted from Pu'uhonua o Punafounded on May 5, 2018, as a place of refuge and comfort for those displaced by the May 2018 lava eruptions. Our volunteer hui has set up an info and supply hub in Pāhoa to help those affected. Efforts are 100% community driven and funded.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Location:
In Pāhoa, at the 4-way intersection, on the corner lot across of Pāhoa High School. Look for the canopy tents.

Volunteer at the HUB:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/60B0A4AA4A82AA6FA7-volunteer1

World Central Kitchen Volunteer: 
Click the link below if you would like to prepare a meal or volunteer in the kitchen. 
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b054caead2ca4fa7-puna
*For more information please visit World Central Kitchen Puna Hawaii Volcano Response on Facebook.

Updated Needed Items List:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0a4aa4a82aa6fa7-donations
*Donate your items when you can. There is no deadline. 
*Note: We are 100% supported by the community. We are NOT a non-profit, therefore we cannot write donation receipts. We are so thankful for all of you and your contributions.

Mailing items:
Unfortunately, we do not have a physical mailing address right now. We are working on it.

Amazon wishlist: 
We do not have an amazon wishlist

Monetary donations:
Our friends at Bank of Hawaii set up an account in our name – Pu'uhonua o Puna. Drop by or call any branch to make a donation. 
Our bank account # is 0094851327. Go to www.boh.com and click on Locations to find a branch. All money collected will go directly to residents impacted by lava activities. If you want to give online, you can do that via our GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/puuhonuaopuna

Please note that as of June 12th, 2018, Pu'uhonua o Puna the following update regarding donations in kind:

We remember the day we first started; we had two tables and a canopy tent 🤗 In just a little over a month, our good intention has grown into a full-fledged operation that is still 100% grassroots and community-driven. YOU made this happen 🤙🏼 Our focus has always been to get info & supplies to those who need it, which is why we need to temporarily pause accepting items. (We are still accepting monetary donations to our Bank of Hawai’i Recovery Account and at gofundme.com/puuhonuaopuna). We received another container from O’ahu we need to sort through. But more than that, we are working to get these items into the hands of displaced ‘ohana. If you are displaced by lava, or know people who are, come our way or send us a message- the Hub has and always will be here to help 💜 Thank you for keeping our operations going. We will post when we are accepting items again. We will let you know soon how else you can support our Puna community. Stay Classy, the HUB Crew

Mahalo!