Through this ongoing volcanic eruption, we have seen many great stories of communities coming together to help one another and we have met many inspirational people.
But one person in particular has stepped up to take the lead and in the process has brought comfort and inspiration to many others.
When the first lava fissure broke out on May 3 in Leilani Estates, KHON2 was the only station there.
Right there by our side was Ikaika Marzo.
In the days immediately following the first eruption, Ikaika was one of those who chose to stay back to monitor homes, help safely evacuate others, and to document the incredible act of nature nobody here ever expected to see.
So much has changed in this community since the first fissure opened. But through it all, there’s been one constant and that’s Ikaika’s drive to help others.
He helped organize a donation and information center that’s become a hub near the evacuated neighborhoods.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Marzo said. “I was in there for a couple days and my Facebook feed was just going crazy (people) asking me all these questions. So I woke up in the morning and I said we need an informational hub.”
So with the help of friends and the coconut wireless, Marzo created that hub and so much more.
“When you’re in that state of helping people it’s just keep on helping,” Marzo said. “You think I could help this person this way, I have this person this way.”
Marzo adds, “I was raised that way. For us I was raised that when you see somebody who needs help, don’t wait until the person asks you for help. You just go help.”
From families to individuals in need, this pop community in Lower Puna has become a place where both friends and strangers have found warmth, comfort and hope.
“To give the service like that, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what it’s all about. That’s the true essence of aloha,” Marzo said.
How long this eruption will continue and how long this place of hope will remain is anyone’s guess.
But as long as there is need, you can bet, Ikaika will be there.