News

Puna Strong Grants Program Awards $380K

May 3, 2021, 2:09 PM HST
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The County of Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) announce the award of $380,000 to 26 organizations through the Puna Strong grants program.

Puna Strong takes a community-based disaster management approach that values the knowledge and capacities of residents and builds on local resources. In addition to providing grants, the County and HCF will work with intermediaries in the community to assist with technical support, peer learning and network building among recipients.

Grassroots Church Pahoa
Grassroots Church Pahoa is one of 26 recipients of the Puna Strong Recovery Grants Program. PC: Hawaii County

“Puna Strong is a great example of how we can transform the relationship between the community and County through collaborative problem solving,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “By taking an approach that is community-led and County supported, we will ensure that we are stronger in the face of disasters and other disruptive events.”

The County and HCF launched Puna Strong in January 2021 to assist with disaster readiness and community resilience, both strategies identified in the Kīlauea Recovery and Resilience Plan, following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. It is supported by $250,000 from the County’s recovery funds and $130,000 from HCF’s Hawai‘i Island Volcano Recovery Fund, Hawai‘i Island Strong Fund and Anderson-Beck Fund.

“We made a call out to the Puna community to learn what programs and projects were needed to support the aftermath of the Kīlauea eruption, and what we heard back were ideas of strength and community resilience,” said Diane Chadwick, director of community philanthropy for HCF, which manages the program. “We’re excited to support the 26 organizations with their projects aimed at networking and empowering the Puna community.”

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Projects supported by the program include development of resilience hubs, disaster response activities, support for homeless children, jobs and skills development, and many others.

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For more information on recovery grants and the Big Island entities that have received them, go online.

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