Hawaii is involved in many disaster relief initiatives ranging from donations and financial assistance to aid programs and direct measures. While I can think of many reasons for Hawaii’s multitude of donations to disaster stricken areas, one that stands out relates to the fact that many residents of the islands have relatives all over the world – especially in the Asia-Pacific area.
One of the most recent disaster relief initiatives that the state has been involved in entails Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines past November. According to several news outlets, Typhoon Haiyan was “one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, destroying entire villages and devastating cities across the Philippines before heading toward Vietnam” (Bruton, 2013). It devastated much of the country and displaced nearly 4.1 million people (Oxfam, 2013; US AID, 2014).
Under the slogan “Aloha For Philippines” donations and relief effort were organized and coordinated throughout Hawaii. Local banks and the Hawaiian Bankers Association launched a coordinated effort at collecting donations and enabling individual donors to “donate money at any branch of virtually every bank in the state, providing Hawaii residents hundreds of safe, convenient, and trusted locations to make contributions” (ASB, 2013). Several nongovernmental organizations several entities led or joined into relief efforts, including the local Red Cross chapter, the Filipino Community Center, the Consuelo Foundation, and United Way of Hawaii to name a few. Others aided their efforts by either donating funds or supporting their efforts through resource (i.e. personnel, goods, etc.) allocations. For example, the Artists and Boxing Camp raised money through a partnership with local apparel stores. By contrast the Island Insurance Foundation donated funds from its charity, while the Hawaii Theater Center and musicians teamed up to organize a benefit concert (Aloha For Philippines, 2013; HTC, 2013). Of course, US AID allocated funds for relief and the US Pacific Command was activated to provide humanitarian relief and assist with search and rescue operations (Bruton, 2013).
In addition to Hawaiian organizations, several key international organizations were involved including:
• Oxfam (2013), which focused on providing support to typhoon survivors by making “clean water, food and safe sanitation a priority” of its efforts
• US AID, UNICEF, and WHO, which provided vaccinations and primary health care as well as supplemental...