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Donation Items

Union, Kentucky
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Donation Items

We arrive in a few weeks and are interested in how we can can help those displaced/effected by the lava eruptions. Is there a website(s) that lists items in need at shelters or other places helping displaced families? And a location for drop off? Certainly could give more if we purchase here at home and bring it with us. Also, any volunteer opportunities that would be appropriate for our 10 and 17 year old girls? Thanks in advance!

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Burr Ridge, Illinois
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1. Re: Donation Items

I love seeing messages like this where parents are helping children get involved with giving back. Over the years my children have done the same thing. Awesome!

I'm not sure there are many or any opportunities right now, but I hope others jump in and can give you better information.

Enjoy your trip! Keep up the good work of giving back.

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2. Re: Donation Items

Jam, I’m sure that the good people helping out on the ground there will be along soon to let you know the best ways to help in this particular disaster.

I will share though, from my own experience working with charity groups & one summer spent volunteering in a shelter when my own area experienced a catastrophic flood - monetary donatations will always go farther and do more good than donating items.

The best to place to donate is usually debated. I hope our local experts here will post the information on donations again, because I didn’t find it in a quick scroll through the last few days of forum posts.

If it is more meaningful to your family to donate items, then wait until you’re on the island to purchase them. Your patronage of local businesses will be helpful as well as the donation.

I would consider donating items that relief groups may not provide, like treats and toys for pets, or nice new toys for children. But you’ll want to research to find out the best place to give these things, and then ask what they would prefer you give. I do remember in our flood that when children were given bicycles, that was wonderful. I’m not sure if that would be best in this situation or not, but if you’re interested you could ask.

Items that are always needed like diapers, personal hygiene products, underwear & food can be purchased by charity groups in bulk with deep discounts from manufacturers who want to help. So your donation would go much further if it was cash. But diapers are always needed and I’m sure would be welcomed as a donation.

During the floods we experienced 10 years ago, people donated mountains of used clothing & household items. Some of it was helpful, but much of it was just junk, unfortunately. Obviously you are planning on donating new items. But whether new or old, it all needs to be sorted and organized by volunteers, and then distributed to the people who need it. That whole process and the hours it takes is much more efficient and effective when cash donations are used to buy supplies in bulk.

These are just a few general things that I learned about giving to help in a disaster. If anything I said doesn’t apply in this situation, I bow to the local knowledge. Hope I could be of some help anyway.

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3. Re: Donation Items

I can highly recommend making donations directly to the people affected through the Puʻuhonua o Puna grassroots community organization. I cannot in conscience recommend the Red Cross.


They have a Facebook page where you can see the amazing work that they are doing - a genuinely fantastic job - stepping in exactly meeting the community’s myriad needs, IMO. https://www.facebook.com/puuhonuaopuna/

On their FB page, they often update the list of items that they need. They have contacts to receive donated goods in various places on the Island, contact them to find out where your items can be dropped off.

They NO LONGER have an Amazon Wish List, please refer to their FAQ below.

Another suggestion for you and your girls: maybe volunteer or donate to one of the Island’s animal rescue groups, which can also be identified via the FB page linked above. I’m sure that there’s one that would be closer to where you’ll be staying.


Puʻuhonua o Puna Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


In Pāhoa, at the 4-way intersection, on the corner lot across of Pāhoa High School. Look for the canopy tents.

Volunteer at the HUB:


World Central Kitchen Volunteer:

Click the link below if you would like to prepare a meal or volunteer in the kitchen.


*For more information please visit World Central Kitchen Puna Hawaii Volcano Response on Facebook.

Updated Needed Items List:


*Donate your items when you can. There is no deadline.

*Note: We are 100% supported by the community. We are NOT a non-profit, therefore we cannot write donation receipts. We are so thankful for all of you and your contributions.

Mailing items:

Unfortunately, we do not have a physical mailing address right now. We are working on it.

Amazon wishlist:

We do not have an amazon wishlist

Monetary donations:

Our friends at Bank of Hawaii set up an account in our name – Pu'uhonua o Puna. Drop by or call any branch to make a donation.

Our bank account # is 0094851327. Go to www.boh.com and click on Locations to find a branch. All money collected will go directly to residents impacted by lava activities.

If you want to give online, you can do that via our GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/puuhonuaopuna

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4. Re: Donation Items

I agree with Teri: cash goes further and can be more specifically applied to the needs at hand. It's human nature to want to "do" something, and makes us as givers feel better. But I don't think visitors showing up with items, or plugging in a few hours here or there trying to hands-on help, is the best use of resources. Your financial gift would I'm sure be most appreciated. Have a wonderful time!

~ Colleen

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5. Re: Donation Items

Free-to-Wander provides great info: Pu'uhonua o Puna is by far the best place to send donations in support of Puna evacuees.

For those who know families who have lost their homes, there are many GoFundMe pages set up to help individual families, so you can search the GoFundMe site to make direct donations to people you know and want to help.

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6. Re: Donation Items

Thank you for being such thoughtful people! I agree with FTW and Wahine.

Your girls might find volunteering at one of the animal shelters rewarding? The animals can always use some loves.

Round Rock, Texas
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7. Re: Donation Items

I agree with Free-to-wander with regards to the Pu’uhonua o Puna Info and Supply Hub. We had originally rented a home in Kapoho, but sadly it is now gone. The owner of the home directed me to Pu’uhonua o Puna. My daughter contacted the coordinator, Ashley, via their Facebook page before we left Oahu to see if there were any needed items that we could bring over with us, but in all honesty monetary donations are the best thing any of us can do right now so we made a donation to their go fund me site. We also decided early on to do most of our souvenir shopping here on the BI to support the local economy.

Destination Expert
for Oahu
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8. Re: Donation Items

Cash. Nothing is as flexible as money. "Stuff" needs to be stored and sorted ... and can be a pain. Health and safety issues, too.

Take some time and scroll down this Forum - for the past couple weeks at least. Lots of ideas. Many similar questions.

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9. Re: Donation Items

A couple of very important CAUTIONs about the Gofundme pages:

1. ONLY USE the official Pu’uhonua o Puna website given, if you wish to direct your donation to them:


Unfortunately, I have seen more than one different Gofundme page linked by different people, in the name of Pu’uhonua o Puna. I saw yet another yesterday... be wary!

2. Be very wary also of individual Gofundme pages.

DO NOT give to someone that you do not know.

DO NOT give to someone you know by searching their names(s) on the Gofundme website. Get that person or a trusted friend to send you a direct link to their legitimate Gofundme page instead.

Unfortunately, at least one family had their names & Facebook photos hijacked and used in a fake Gofundme page.

Destination Expert
for Oahu
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10. Re: Donation Items


Please pull this up. I think my post is #20. I sent a check to the Salvation Army in Honolulu (per their instruction). I gotta say ... that check was processed at warp-speed!

The Salvation Army has a lot of flexibility locally ... really important as conditions are constantly changing.

Edited: 09 June 2018, 01:53
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