The Aloha Initiative is a program will host victims from the tsunami in the coming months. The host families in Oahu will welcome 20 visitors and Maui will take in 40. The visitors are able to stay up to three months.
The program is also coordinating a gently used clothing drive for the visiting families who may not have many possessions to bring along on the trip.
Cyndi Hewitt and her husband and 16 year old daughter are waiting for a mother and her 15-year-old daughter to come stay with them for the summer.
Hewitt said “we also need people who can donate gift cards to stores, so the families can shop for what they want and need when they are here. We are also still accepting gifts of money and First Hawaiian Bank has extended their help to us. They will be accepting donations until July 15.”
The initiative was born out of Maui residents who volunteered in the wake of the tsunami. Moved by the devastation they got to work.
Maui mayor Alan Arawaka states on alohainitiative.com “The Aloha Initiative is a program focused on offering respite through an organized homestay program where survivors will be matched with willing host families for predetermined periods of time. Our goal is to provide survivors with an opportunity to get away and recharge themselves both physically and mentally.”