June 4, 2010 – Hawaii Island
The Hawaii Police Department have issued the following media release:
Once again, the Hawai’i Police Department is proud to be a participant in a backpack drive to assist those less fortunate in these hard economic times. All police stations around the island will double as drop-off points between June and September for those interested in helping adults and children in need.
Backpacks collected will be distributed primarily to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island. They will also be offered to homeless adults, as backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for adult and children charities in Hawai’i.
Last year, members of our community and from communities across the mainland contributed approximately 500 backpacks, the vast majority benefiting children here on the Big Island. “It was extremely heartwarming to see the large number of caring individuals and families that contributed to the backpack drive and asked what else they could do to assist the less fortunate on our island,” Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri said. While the campaign asked for “usable” backpacks, most contributors donated brand new backpacks.
The Police Department has partnered with the Office of Social Ministry and From Kids For Kids in the collection and distribution of these items.
The Office of Social Ministry provides a continuum of homeless and transitional programs from outreach to emergency shelters, to include permanent supportive housing placements.
From Kids For Kids was founded in 2006 by Big Island resident Nani Welch-Keliihoomalu, then 10, who was responsible for distributing backpacks to children with books, clothing, art and school supplies within.
Police Chief Kubojiri offered police stations as drop-off points to make it convenient for anyone who wishes to donate backpacks for the project. “As another school year recently ended, I humbly ask those of you who have backpacks your child is no longer using to consider donating them to this worthy cause,” Chief Kubojiri said. “I am fully cognizant that the current economic downturn across our nation impacts us all; however, I also know that the Aloha spirit is alive and well when it comes to opening our hearts and lending a helping hand.”