Categorized | Business

Monty Richards Community Award recipients announced


Bank of Hawaii named Bay Clinic, Inc., Family Support Hawaii and Kokua Christian Ministries as the 2011 Bank of Hawaii Monty Richards Hawaii Island Community Award recipients. The announcement was made Tuesday, Sept. 13 at a presentation at Kahua Ranch.

Bay Clinic, Inc. received $10,000 to help start up its Pediatric Dental Care Program, which will play a key role in preventing serious oral heath disease from developing in children and improve the level of care available. The clinic’s goal is to increase access to oral health prevention, screening, treatment and education services for children of low-income families who otherwise have no access to oral healthcare.

Founded in 1983, Bay Clinic is now one of the largest community health centers in the state of Hawaii. Its 155 member staff consisting of skilled medical, dental, behavioral health and administrative professionals serve 57,000 visits for 17,000 of the most impoverished, most unwell, low-income, uninsured men, women and children in the state.

With seven sites, Bay Clinic serves a vast rural and remote 2,048-square mile area of the Hilo, Puna and Kau districts in east and south Hawaii Island. This area is larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, with 43 percent of residents living in poverty.

As a safety net provider of medical, dental and mental health services for poor families, regardless of their ability to pay, the company fulfills its mission to provide high quality, patient-centered, comprehensive health care that is accessible, affordable, coordinated, culturally competent and community-directed for all.

Family Support Hawaii received $10,000 to support its Hawaii Island Fatherhood Initiative – Na Makuakane Maikai O Hawaii (Great Fathers of Hawaii), which provides counseling, educational and public awareness activities that highlight the involvement of fathers in the lives of children and builds support within communities to promote healthy and productive family lives.

Since 1979, Family Support Hawaii has been fulfilling its mission to “support families and communities in providing love and care for our children.”

The company was started by a group of community volunteers concerned about the victims of child abuse and neglect, and has since been at the forefront in establishing innovative programs and activities designed to support all families as they strive to raise healthy, happy children on the island of Hawaii.

Family Support Hawaii was also a pioneer in establishing one of the first Early Head Start programs in Hawaii in 1997, which serves low-income families with infants and toddlers and helps them meet their basic financial, social and emotional needs through home and center-based activities.

The organization has also been a leader in the field of school readiness and parent involvement in education with its award-winning Na Pua Liko Early Literacy Program, its Neighborhood Play and Learn groups throughout West Hawaii, and its Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program.

Kokua Christian Ministries received $5,000 to provide needy individuals and families in the Waimea, Kohala, Waikoloa and Kawaihae areas with food and shelter and to be a link to social services resources. The organization recently finalized a lease with Imiola Church to rent a small home on the church property, which has been renovated and currently provides hot meals and a shower to those in need.

Kokua Christian Ministries was established in July 2010 to provide individuals and families in need with food and shelter and a link to social services resources.

Since August 2010, the group has been the sole operator of the food pantry operations located out of the New Hope Church gymnasium in Waimea, which has been open twice a week distributing emergency food rations to an average of 400 to 500 adults and children a month.

Kokua Christian Ministries partners with The Food Basket to purchase food at a reduced rate and, when necessary, supplements with direct food purchases from community businesses. The food pantry is manned entirely by volunteer staff.

The Bank of Hawaii Monty Richards Community Award was established in 2008 and supports Hawaii Island nonprofit organizations that demonstrate innovative approaches to help improve the quality of life on Hawaii Island.

The award was established in honor of Herbert “Monty” Montague Richards, Jr., a dedicated Hawaii Island community leader and former longtime board director for Bank of Hawaii.

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