Hilo Mediation Center Receives $25K Challenge Grant
by Dave Smith
The Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center in Hilo has received a $25,000 grant from the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.
The award is a “challenge” matching grant, which means that the center must raise $12,500 to receive the full amount, said Julie Mitchell, its executive director.
“Every $1 donated will be matched by $2 from the Fund, totaling $3 of support,” she said.
Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center is the only non-profit mediation center serving East Hawai‘i and one of only five in the state.
The agency helps individuals, families, organizations, businesses, schools, and others to find creative solutions to challenging situations.
Areas in which the center can help include landlord-tenant disputes, child-custody or property issues in divorces, problems with neighbors, debt collection matters and contentious issues in the workplace.
Mediation resolutions tend to be long-lasting and help to improve relationships, promote understanding, and ultimately strengthen the community, Mitchell said.
She said the mediation services are provided on a sliding-scale fee schedule, and no one is turned away for lack of funds.
“Over 50% of our clients have annual household incomes of under $20,000,” Mitchell said. “In this difficult economy of high unemployment, debt defaults, and home foreclosures, our community mediation services are often the only option for those with low or no incomes to resolve conflicts and move on with their lives.”
All funds raised will be earmarked to support community mediation services and promote peaceful solutions in East Hawai‘i. Since Ku‘ikahi is a 501(c)(3) organization, donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
To make a contribution, contact Mitchell at (808) 935-7844, Ext. 116, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations may also be mailed to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, 101 Aupuni St., Suite PH 1014- B-2, Hilo, HI 96720.