By Twinkle Borge, Founder and Leader of Pu‘uhonua o Wai‘anae
As the Mayors and the Governor started to shut down Hawai‘i to keep our people safe during the COVID-19 crisis, were we, the houseless community, ever in their plans -- even a small part of their plans? Were they thinking about how to keep us safe as well as what we could do to help ourselves and help others in our communities?
There was an urgency building in me as I realized life was changing for us all. We knew that we needed to step up and help, too. A group of us started to plan what we could do to help our own village and also others, both houseless and housed.
When wearing masks in public was required for us all, our village started asking for and receiving materials to make reusable masks. Our goal became to make sure every person who needed a mask would have a pair: one to wear while the other mask was being washed and dried.
We made close to 500 masks and also collected about 3,000 donated masks to hand out to those in need, both houseless and housed.
We delivered about 2,000 masks to people, and there are still more people out there who could use our help. As long as there is someone who needs a mask, we will make sure there are masks to share.
No one will save us. We would need to save ourselves. We all can do our part to save ourselves and each other.
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