Our Hawai`i Island Heroes
Dr. Akiona and the Premier Medical Group with the assistance of Hawai`i County, local health care staff and volunteers have been operating pop up COVID-19 screening and testing sites around Hawai`i Island.
They have been working long hours since the onset of the COVID-19 to provide free screening and testing services for many Hawai`i Island residents including many that don’t have access to a regular doctor or medical insurance.
Mahalo Dr. Akiona and the Premier Medical Group, you are all Hawai`i Island Heroes!
Breeani is the Program Director for Hawaii Rise Foundation and the manager of Keaukaha General Store. She and the organizations that she represents are always among the first to stand up when our community is in need. Whether it’s providing hundreds of Keiki and Kupuna Care packs with essentials like toilet paper and face masks, meals for our Kupuna or free online classes for our Hawaii Island community.
Breeani makes a positive impact every day. She is a tireless advocate for our community with an amazing ability to bring people together to help.
Mahalo Breeani Sumera Lee, you are one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island has served over 20,000 meals to Keiki. CEO Chad Cabral moved all staff to meal operations to prevent furloughs.
They started with 200 meals per day Monday-Friday out of their Hilo facility and have since added a second kitchen facility in Kona and increased their service to over 800 hot meals per day to serve our vulnerable populations on Hawai’i Island.
Mahalo Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island, you are Hawai`i Island Heroes!
During this pandemic a number of Kimberly’s clients were facing closure and financial ruin. She took it upon herself to educate and aid them in applying for government assistance. She was able to get all of her clients the assistance they needed to keep their doors open and there employees working.
Over 100 employees on the big island were able to keep their jobs! Without the guidance and quick action of Ms. Gillaspie many businesses would have collapsed. She’s our hero for helping our business.
Mahalo Kimberly Gillaspie, you are a Hawai`i Island Hero!
Ku`ulei Smith is an exceptional human being! She has been sewing fabric masks for the Ocean View community and she has not been charging for them. She said that her Mom raised her to give back and show Aloha and she is surely doing that for the people of Ocean View. She gives her time and skills to making masks for people that need them. Ku`ulei is part of a rare breed of young people that exemplifies what Aloha is.
Mahalo Ku`ulei, you are one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes! #hawaiiislandheroes
Hale Anuenue – Anela’s Quarantine Unit is working hard to keep our Kupuna safe during the COVID. It’s been a challenge, but one that they have embraced because their residents mean the world to them. Their happiness and fulfillment are why they are there and it’s an honor to serve them.
Mahalo Hale Anuenue Anelaʻs Quarantine Unit, you are Hawai`i Island Heroes!
Janice and Waimea Middle School have been providing weekly kokua kits that are delivered to student homes which include lunch, snacks, fruits or vegetables from the school garden, student work to be completed, science projects, seeds & ‘uala slips to plant and more!
Mahalo Janice English and Waimea Middle School, you are Hawai`i Island Heroes!
Even though Laycie had to close her small business during the Stay-At-Home order, she has been constantly finding and sharing resources for local families to find food, financial assistance, etc. She has partnered up with other small local businesses to feed keiki on weekends when the lunch programs are not in service. She puts out a call for help when she encounters a family with specific needs and is usually successful in helping meet that need. She drops off food and supplies to people unable to go get it themselves.
She has offered to stand watch over anyone’s keiki in your car if you need to go to the store but do not have childcare. She does all of this for free, without need for public acknowledgement or praise. She is an amazing person and we are so fortunate to be apart of the same community.
Mahalo Laycie Khadija, you are one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes!
Walter Bacxa started a Facebook page group called “Techie for the Keiki” to help kids that might not have access to technology to study at home.
He has now repurposed over 50 laptops and iPads that have been donated to kids in need. He has since partnered with Non Profit organization Family Support Hawaii to accept tax-deductible donations so he can help more Keiki. Visit http://techieforthekeiki.org for more information or to make a contribution.
Mahalo Walter Bacxa, you are on of our Hawai’i Island Heroes!
Lorna Saito loving called “Nana” by her family, endearingly Aunty Lorna has gone beyond being the catalyst in the Waikoloa community in feeding children and families that would other wise do without.
She has not only during this time of need but endless previous times feeding between a low 20 to up to 40 plus children during breaks and summers. She has been doing this for decades. She is amazing along with help from her husband Jon and countless volunteers.
Mahalo Lorna, you are one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes!
Amy Mauyama is a police officer for Hawai’i County. Amy is a full-time mother of 3 boys.
She helped the community through the 2018 lava eruption, working 12+ hours shifts back to back, with little-no time to spend at home, sleep or hang out with her children and husband.
More recently, despite being worried about getting herself or family sick, she chose remain on the front line. Dependable no matter what. Remaining brave, she puts a smile on and proudly protects and serves our Big Island community.
Amy Masuyama is one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes!
Valerie and her family have been a huge part of manufacturing and distributing face shields for medical personnel, first responders, and essential workers at our Hawaii Island essential businesses.
Big Island Face Shield Program started with Teo and Keo, two WHEA students wanting to apply their 3D printing talents to help in the early days of COVID-19 when PPE was scarce.
The program grew to include Holualoa School, Parker School, HPA, Kealakehe and Konawaena High Schools.
The group has produced over 3,000 face shields, mask clips and other devices to help keep our Hawaii Island residents protected.
Mahalo Valerie, Teo and Keo, you are Hawai’i Island Heroes!
Today we recognize the Doctors, Nurses and Staff at Bay Clinic, who have been providing COVID19 screening and testing for all regardless of coverage.
They’re also working with the County to help reduce the transmission of this terrible virus. They never stopped caring for or treating patients despite many barriers.
Thank you Bay Clinic. You are one of our Hawaii Island Hereos.
Nicole and William Vinson from BIg Island Honda has made over (and counting) 1100 free masks to our Kona Community and outside communities. These places include Hilo, Oʻahu, Las Vegas, Colorado, Washington, and California. It started off with the idea of making masks for the family in Kona to protect them from Covid-19.
From there they began to make masks for all employees at Big Island Honda. It then escalated to making more for the employees’ families and was posted all over Facebook.
Friends and family who worked in the front lines contacted Nicole and asked for the possibility of making 100+ masks for doctors and nurses. Senior Care centers in Fremont, California, Ventura Hospital, San Jose Hospital, Clinic and Urgent Care in Las Vegas, and a Spa Treatment Center in Colorado just to name a few.
Mahalo Nicole and William Vinson, one of our Hawai’i Island Heroes!
Vibranthawaii.org, a Hawai`i Island based website commited to uplifting Hawai`i Island families so they thrive.
Vibranthawaii.org has been featuring their own Vibrant Hawai`i Heroes. They are individuals that have been doing something positive in our community. For more information log onto vibranthawaii.org/vibrant-hawaii-hereos.
Vibranthawaii.org also has helpful resources to help our Hawai`i Island community thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find information about food resources, keiki activities and childcare for essential workers, where to get face masks and much more!
Log on for more information at Vibranthawaii.org. Thank you VibrantHawaii.org one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes.
Heritage Christian Fellowship in Hilo has tasked themselves with sewing of face masks to supply our Hawai`i Island community. At their location on Kawili Street, members of the Heritage Christian Fellowship congregation have set up shop with half a dozen sewing machines to sew thousands of facemasks.
Under the direction of Pastor Safune Pola, the members of Heritage Christian Fellowship have been sewing face masks everyday with hundreds of face masks going to our seniors, first responders, Hilo Medical Center staff, the salvation army and to our homeless population here on Hawai`i Island.
For more information on how you can contribute to Heritage Christian Fellowship and their Face mask production, call 935-5656 or find them on Facebook @HCFhilo.
Thank you Heritage Christian Fellowship for all you hard work. You are one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes.
There is a critical need for childcare for our Hawai`i Island First Responders, doctors, nurses, Hilo Medical Center staff, EMT, police and fire department. The Hawai`i Island YMCA is up to the task.
Currently Hawai`i Island First Responder Childcare is for ages Preschool through 6th Grade and breakfast and lunch are included. Plus they help with DOE Distance Learning and school packets.
Monetary donations are also being accepted to help defer the cost for their First Responder Childcare.
You can find out more information on their website islandofhawaiiymca.org or call 935-3721.
Thank you Hawai`i Island YMCA, one of our Hawai`i Island Heroes.