Hawaii Governor David Ige has given the green light for educational facilities to re-open, leaving some organizations scrambling to resume their summer programs.
Project Hawaii Inc. was designed to enhance the lives of homeless keiki across the islands.
Co-founded by Megin Patrick and Cliff Kama, the non-profit offers an “Edu-camp” for homeless keiki ages 3 to 7 on the Big Island.
“The summer camp was designed in 2006. My heart was breaking that we had hundreds of homeless children without meals, education support, and no interaction across the islands for almost 3 months,” explained Patrick.
“Our summer camp is unique. It is designed to provide interactive programs to teach life and social skills to help our keiki succeed in life,” Kama added.
Run by volunteers, Project Hawaii is funded solely on public donations.
The non-profit now has a month to prepare for Edu Camp, slated to run July 19 – 25 at Kalopa State Park in Hilo.
“We’re about 2 months behind on fundraising and organization, to make sure this camp is successful for the homeless children,” admits Patrick.
They’re running into a big problem: lack of PPE.
“Working that into a budget when you’re solely supported by public donations, it’s not like we can say: ‘OK we’ll take it out of our funds.’ There is no fund.”
Face masks, gloves and monetary donations are needed to keep not only the volunteers and keiki safe, but for the camp to continue for years to come.
“It’s a positive feeling for me. Two years ago we saw this girl graduate. We helped the family for over 10 years. We like to hold on to the good stories of Project Hawaii as we help the keiki o ka aina,” said Kama.
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