A Web Exclusive
Following the publication of Mike Keany’s story “Coming Home” in our December 2010 issue, many readers wrote asking how they could help Hawaii’s veterans. Here are a few ways.
The United States Veterans Initiative provides services like counseling and job placement, while providing veterans free housing. Although it is a national program, individual donations can be allocated for Hawaii locations only. Visit U.S. Vets Initiative.
Help veterans of all wars through the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Center at the Tripler Army Medical Center. Volunteers can participate by doing general clerical work, assisting staff with patient care, providing informational services and helping with recreational therapy. Cash donations are used for hygiene products, recreational activities, refreshments and a program providing cable television for spinal cord injury patients. The center currently is accepting magazines, coffee and cookies, new or gently used clothing and phone cards. To contribute, contact the Volunteer Coordinator’s Office at 433-0109. For more information visit www.hawaii.va.gov/giving/.
Honolulu Vet Center is a VA program that provides counseling for military service members and their families who are experiencing readjustment issues. The office also provides referrals to treatment programs and job placement. The Honolulu office accepts donations, and all money will go directly to veterans’ activities. Checks should be made out to the Department of Veterans Affairs with a note on the check that says: “For Vets Center General Post Fund.” Mail to 1680 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite F-3, Honolulu, HI 96814 or call 973-8387. Find general information about Vet Centers at www.vetcenter.va.gov/.
The Fisher House provides free housing to families of military service members who are hospitalized for an unexpected illness, disease or injury. The Honolulu location will take donations of paper products, kitchen items, towels, household goods and gift cards, toiletries, baby items and snacks. Monetary donations can be sent to Tripler Fisher House, 317 Krukowski Rd, Honolulu, HI 96819. Call 433-1291 for additional information or donate directly at http://www.orgsites.com/hi/triplerfisherhouses/_pgg1.php3.
This two-year-old program focuses on connecting veterans with resources available to them. Veterans do not have to be Native Hawaiian to contact the program. Directed by W. Clay Park, a retired Army Command Sergeant Major with active-duty experience working at the VA, Park focuses on helping veterans navigate the VA benefits application processes, and connect veterans with programs that address suicide prevention, substance abuse and domestic violence. Park runs the program with no additional staff and all donations go directly to services. To make a donation call Kim Birnie at the community information office at 597.6550 extension 815. Although the veterans project doesn’t have a website yet, visit papaolalokahi.org for general information.