East Hawaii News

Community Leaders Take ‘Hats Off’ for Red Cross Benefit

March 12, 2015, 1:06 PM HST
* Updated March 12, 1:07 PM
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Off-duty first responders, Lions Clubs, Leo Clubs, and a variety of other volunteers will come together Saturday, March 14 and take their hats off in support of the Hawai’i State Chapter of the American Red Cross “Hats Off” event that happens annually.

The group will be at Walmart Hilo and KTA Puainako between the hours of 9 a.m and 3 p.m. gathering donations for the local Red Cross chapter.

“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, Hawai’i 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. Because we are not a government agency, we reply on the generosity, support and aloha from the people on the Big Island to provide these critical services to the community.”

Twenty-one disasters on the Big Island were responded to by the Hawai’i Red Cross in 2014 and 154 family members were assisted. When Tropical Storm Iselle hit in August, the Red Cross opened 13 shelters throughout Hawai’i County that provided a safe haven for 1,325 people. During the aftermath of the storm, the nonprofit organization also distributed 19,496 relief items at 12 sites and served 4,119 meals and snacks. Health and mental health services were also provided to 568 residents.

An additional 3,969 individuals were reached by the Big Island Red Cross in disaster preparedness information. Critical skills like first aid, CPR, and aquatics were taught to another 4,076 people.

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Those who are unable to make it to one of the locations on Saturday are invited to donate online.

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