Micah Kane, president & CEO of the Hawaii Community Foundation, joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation today to talk about the community needs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kane said that community needs are still widespread. He shared that the need for food is at least three times the amount prior to COVID-19.
While the Hawaii Community Foundation continues to support emergency grants, it has also taken steps to support the recovery phase. For example, the organization partnered with First Hawaiian Bank to launch the Hawaii Stronger Together program, a $2 million scholarship program that allows students to explore a range of continuing education options and offers funding for traditional and non traditional needs.
“We are trying to keep our eye on the horizon and not looking down at our feet,” he said.
Kane talked about the foundation’s Resilience Fund, which was created to rapidly deploy resources to community nonprofits and health care providers who are working to address the impacts of COVID-19 in Hawaii. To date, the Resilience Fund has raised nearly $12 million.
The fund has been running for 105 days and $11 million has already been distributed to the community.
“We’ve been very fortunate with the number of individuals and organizations as well as partners that have stepped up and been there with us,” he said. Kane said the foundation is still encouraging individuals and partners to support the fund because the needs are still great.
According to Kane, the foundation’s role is to help fill the gaps and be a catalyst for innovative thinking. It will continue to stay in communication with the state legislature to support efforts in the execution of the CARES Act funds. “Our role is to continue to be as nimble as possible, smart with our funds, transparent as we can about what we are learning, and help this community in any way we can” he said.
When asked how people can help out, Kane said, “Do what’s in your power.”
He said the community needs to continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wash hands, wear masks, and be conscious when gathering, especially around kupuna. “It’s taking care of your neighbor,” he said. “That’s really what’s going to carry us through.”
Click here to watch a replay on Facebook.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.