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Healing Our Island Community Fund mini-grants available


From a grassroots performing arts group to a Kona volleyball team, the Healing Our Island Community Fund has supported more than 400 groups and organizations that would otherwise not have access to grants.

These mini-grants, available through the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development, support community-led anti-drug initiatives, services, programs and events and create a united front against illegal drug use in Hawai‘i County.

“The best way to prevent our keiki from getting involved in drugs and gangs is to keep them busy with healthy, family-related activities,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Upfront prevention in the form of investments into these grassroots organizations is money well spent.”

The Hawai‘i Sustainable Education Initiative Parents’ Group is a recent recipient of a Healing Our Island mini-grant. The group organized “Summer Sustainable Education Day Camp 2009,” which included a community garden, a drama about drug awareness and talks by those in recovery to youths about staying drug free.

Other recipients include Aloha Coast Crew, that conducted “Lively Up to Art,” using talented community members to illustrate to youths healthy free-time alternatives, and Koaniani Community Association, that organized “Youth and Family Support,” a program that encourages family and youth participation in non-sports related activities.

According to Randy Kurohara, Director of Research and Development for the County of Hawai‘i, “we funded a total of 100 Healing Our Island mini-grants throughout all nine districts on our Island in 2008 – 2009”. He also noted that “while new state and federal resources are not available to replenish this fund in the future, there is still a limited amount of Healing Our Island funding available,” and he encourages community organizations to take advantage of this resource while it lasts.

Mini-grants of up to $2,000 are still available and combined activities with other groups are encouraged. Applications, which are reviewed monthly, must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to the event. Applications are due in the County Department of Research and Development’s Hilo or Kona office by 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day of the month or the next business day if the tenth falls on a weekend or holiday.

Program guidelines and application are available at First-time applicants should contact a district liaison before submitting an application. The liaison will help applicants sort through paperwork and reporting requirements as well as monitor project progress and attend funded events. Liaison contact information is included on the program guidelines.

Applications may also be obtained at Research and Development in Hilo at the Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni St., PH-1014C or in Kona at the Lanihau Professional Center at 75-5591 Palani Rd., Suite 2001 (next to Frame Ten Center-Kona Bowl).

For more information, email or call Laverne Omori, Resource Center Specialist, at 327-3665.

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