Volunteers Seeking Donations to Red Cross in Kona Saturday

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Volunteers will be going to the public in West Hawaii this weekend with their hats in hand.

The annual “Hats Off” event raises funds for the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Off-duty firefighters and police officers, along with Walmart employees and volunteers from Ocean Sports, 4-H Federation, Lions Clubs, Leo Clubs, the HGEA and the Boy Scouts will take their hats off and ask for donations.

The requests will be made Saturday at the Kona Walmart and KTA Super Store in Kailua-Kona and the Lanihau Marketplace.

A similar event was held last month in Hilo.

Officials from the Red Cross said because it is not a government agency, it relies on the support and aloha from the people of the Big Island and elsewhere.

“Our Big Island Red Cross volunteers respond to everyday disasters like house fires and floods, providing emergency assistance and emotional support to those affected,” said Coralie Matayoshi, Hawaii Red Cross chief executive officer. “Whether it’s a place to stay, cleanup kit, or a shoulder to lean on, the Red Cross is always there.”  

Last year, the Red Cross on the Big Island responded to 23 disasters, helping 69 family members get back on their feet and start rebuilding their lives after tragedy struck, officials said.

In response to Tropical Storm Flossie, the Red Cross opened 9 shelters across Hawaii County to provide a safe haven for those affected by the heavy rains and tropical force winds.

The organization also taught 163 volunteers free disaster training and reached 1,620 individuals in the community with disaster preparedness information. It also taught critical skills like first aid, CPR, and aquatics to 3,214 individuals in Hawaii County as part of their mission of saving lives.

Those looking to donate or volunteer can also do so by visiting or by calling 808-739-8109 for credit card donations. Checks can be sent to American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, 55 Ululani St., Honolulu, HI 96766.


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