'Puna strong': As lava crisis continues, community comes together to help their own

PAHOA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Thursday night, residents in Leilani Estates had minutes to flee eruptions that have now destroyed more than two dozen homes.

Five days later, those residents are still under evacuation orders.

But life goes on — they need to go to work and to school. Babies still need diapers, everybody still needs to eat.

Enter a new community organization that's emerged to help: It's called Puuhonua o Puna.

The group is made up of an army of volunteers, coordinating everything from three hot meals a day to donations of goods.

They've also created a central hub for community members to get up-to-date information.

On Monday morning, trucks full of donations where bringing items to the center in Pahoa. People were bring beds and cots, clothing, food, water.

"Puna strong. Puna always comes together and all the islands. This is the Aloha State. There is so much aloha here," said volunteer Tiana Dunn.

Those getting help at the hub couldn't agree more.

"When everything is gone there is just no way of replacing everything at once and to get back a little bit we have — we can at least keep living. We can at least keep going," said resident Greg Glaser.

The center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the corner of Highway 130 and Pahoa and Kapoho roads.

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This story will be updated. 

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