Saturday, October 13, 2001

New isle group pools
resources of service
agencies, churches

By Richard Borreca

Hawaii's social service agencies are joining together with local churches to help coordinate services for those hurt by the post-Sept. 11 economic crisis.

Gov. Ben Cayetano yesterday announced the new group, dubbed Hawaii Together, saying it is needed to help Hawaii residents.

"We have pulled together people from the nonprofit sector and the faith-based organizations including churches of all denominations to develop a strategy to help people who may need services," Cayetano said.

Heading the group are Susan Doyle, Aloha United Way vice president for community building, and the Rev. Dan Chun, pastor of First Presbyterian Church.

"We are not used to putting all our resources on the table and saying, 'Let's mix them up and make the best possible response,' but that is exactly what we are doing," Doyle said. "This is a challenging time, but it is also a time to show what we are really made of."

Chun noted that while many people are giving money to charities set up to help the victims of the New York and Washington attacks, there are real needs in Hawaii and concerns that people will not give to local charities.

"The needs here are real, and we do want people to give to people here," Chun said.

Doyle said there are already serious needs showing up in the community as organizations like the Hawaii Foodbank are getting increased demands for food.

The organization asks that if people need special services, they should call Ask Aloha United Way at 543-2262 or toll-free from the neighbor islands at 1-877-275-6569, or visit the organization's Web site:

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