As social distancing continues here in Hawaii, a new organization of volunteers is looking to keep our most vulnerable populations at home to decrease exposure to COVID-19.
The group Kupuna Kokua has launched the idea TP for Tutu, a way to deliver groceries and medicine to Hawaii’s most needy free of charge. The non-profit is teaming up with Highway Inn, and is looking for other restaurants and grocery stores.
“We’re focusing on restaurants because it’s very difficult to set up free deliveries from grocery stores,” Co-Founder Erica Warkus said.
“We need to figure that out before we get to the point where nobody can go out. We need to figure out how to get these services to kupuna who need help and need actual groceries.”
Warkus and fellow Co-Founder Ryan Siu hope to keep as many people, especially those elderly or immunocompromised, away from stores as possible.
“It hasn’t gotten bad in Hawaii yet, right? I think that it will and at some point, we’ll understand what social distancing actually means but for right now as an organization what we can do is make it easier for people to stay home,” Warkus said.
“Providing deliveries we’re making it so it’s actually easier to do what you should do than not. That’s the goal right now.”
Kupuna Kokua wants to team up with other volunteer organizations as well.
“There is so much enthusiasm and it is honestly is touching to see the community come together. Everyone wants to help. But if we have dozens of small volunteer organizations we’re not going to be as effective as if we can organize and become a single unified community,” Warkus said.
For information on how to sign up for services, to help, or donate head to the Kupuna Kokua website.