Categorized | Featured, Volunteering

Hilo Zontians craft their way to $10,000 gift to HOPE Services

Zonta Club of Hilo members and friends learned first hand about growing homelessness and gave a hand by teaching sewing skills and crafts at HOPE Services.

Zonta Club of Hilo members and friends learned first hand about growing homelessness and gave a hand by teaching sewing skills and crafts at HOPE Services.

MEDIA RELEASE

HILO, HI—May 9, 2012— Zonta Club of Hilo partnered with the staff, clients and volunteers of HOPE Services to prepare items for families moving into permanent housing.

Almost 30 Hilo Zontians took part in the workday April 28 as part of the Weinberg Friends Program. In return for the sweat equity, Zonta became the conduit of $10,000 of Weinberg funds to HOPE.

Zontian Debbie Shigehara orchestrates creating "Move in Packs" with HOPE volunteers. The packs will help formerly homeless folks get started in new homes.

Zontian Debbie Shigehara orchestrates creating "Move in Packs" with HOPE volunteers. The packs will help formerly homeless folks get started in new homes.

HOPE Services’ mission is to move people in unsheltered situations into safe shelters so they can begin to work toward self-sufficiency. Zonta’s goal is to advance the status of women worldwide, starting at home.

Zontians collected items and prepared five “Move in Packs” including new rice cookers, dishes, silverware and other household items. Zontians pulled together 100 personal hygiene packs for homeless families and 55 kids’ packs that will be given to homeless children by the HOPE Outreach program.

Several Zontians taught four ladies how to sew and assemble colorful and sturdy market shopping bags that could be sold. Other Zontians worked with about a dozen children at the facility and their parents, teaching how to make a variety of healthy snacks that also taste good and look yummy; children (and some adults) did fun crafts—decorating bookmarks, dressing up gift bags.

Part of the Weinberg funding will help 10 women secure rental homes for their families through the renters match savings program, and part will be used to help cover dental work for women with “meth mouth”; this condition often contributes to poor self image when attempting to find a job or interact within the community.

“Our programs help homeless families and individuals attain the skills needed to maximize their potential, succeed in permanent housing and achieve self-sufficiency,” said Kate Nawahine, HOPE Stipend Program Director. These programs include homeless outreach, mental health outreach, drop-in centers, emergency and transitional housing programs, permanent supportive housing programs, representative payee services and SNAP (formerly food stamps) outreach. For more information about these programs visit www.hopeserviceshawaii.org

Zonta Club of Hilo has been participating in the Weinberg Friends Program for 14 years, bringing $140,000 to non-profit organizations in the East Hawaii community. For more information on Zonta Club of Hilo visit zontahilo.org

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