Two months after Japan tragedy, Hawaii still giving - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Two months after Japan tragedy, Hawaii still giving

Coralie Matayoshi Coralie Matayoshi
Lt. Governor Brian Schatz Lt. Governor Brian Schatz
Diana Pinard Diana Pinard

By Teri Okita – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been two months since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan and one month since Hawaii showed its generosity at the "Kokua for Japan" concert. We took a closer look at how your donations are helping the Japanese - and the fundraising efforts that continue.

Since Hawaii came together for "Kokua for Japan", the Red Cross of Hawaii has raised more than three million dollars.

"I'm doing two check presentations a day," says Red Cross Hawaii chapter CEO Coralie Matayoshi.

Your donations have been forwarded to the national, American Red Cross - which has collected 133 million dollars for Japan, so far. About 130 million has been dedicated to the Red Cross of Japan … the rest to non-government, humanitarian organizations. The funds cover everything from clothes to rice cookers.

"Primarily for medical supplies, relief supplies, like blankets and things," says Matayoshi. "We also are trying to put together appliances needed for the 700,000 pre-fabricated homes that the Japanese government is supplying for the victims."

The Red Cross is just one agency that continues to collect donations. The state launched a relief effort called "Aloha for Japan" - headed up by business leaders and Hawaii's lieutenant governor.

The state plans to announce a running tally of cash donations sometime this week but says it's in the multi-millions."We're going to be exceeding even the most optimistic of goals," explains Lt. Governor Brian Schatz. "We're raising a lot of money for our friends in Japan, and it's because everyone in the community has been participating."

Aloha for Japan donations are split between the American Red Cross and the Japan-American Society of Hawaii - which sends funds directly to Japan's Red Cross.

Hundreds of groups in Hawaii are still helping, like the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii. It's giving half the proceeds from Tuesday night's silent auction and concert fundraiser to Aloha for Japan.

"We're part of a very global community here in Hawaii, and we believe that we have an obligation to help our neighbors," says Diana Pinard of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii. It's annual event usually nets about 100 thousand dollars.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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