Mike Wood, co-owner of Hawaii Self Storage, donated $1 million last year toward building and furnishing the first-ever children’s receiving home on the island of Oahu, Ho‘omalu O Na Kamali‘I, which means “safe haven for our children.” Construction begins this summer on the facility, which will be run by Foster Family Programs. In addition, Wood is immediately donating another $200,000 for furnishings, fixtures and equipment, and will donate $400,000 in operating funds annually for the next 20 years.
The land was provided by the state and is part of the Villages of Ma‘ili temporary housing development, which offers transitional housing for the homeless. As a board member of Foster Family Programs of Hawaii, Mike and his wife, Joanne, have worked closely with the organization over the past year to work out the architectural details. Ho‘omalu O Na Kamali‘i is expected to break ground this summer and open its doors by early 2009.
The new home will serve as a temporary place where kids can stay together with their siblings while social workers from Child Welfare Services investigate reports of alleged child abuse or neglect. When children are removed from their family homes for safety reasons, the facility will be notified in advance. Round-the-clock volunteers will prepare a room for each child, complete with a personalized gift. All of the kids’ needs will be attended to, including a medical evaluation and comprehensive assessment within the first 24 hours of arrival.
Ho‘omalu O Na Kamali‘i is expected to care for 180 to 300 kids a year. All individuals and businesses are encouraged to volunteer time or donations of food, clothing, bedding, toiletries, furniture, fixtures, toys and computers. For more information about the program, visit www.ffphawaii.org.
Hawaii Self Storage is the state’s largest self-storage company, with facilities in Kaimuki, Pearl City and Salt Lake. It was named a 2006 and 2007 “Best of the Best” by The Honolulu Advertiser. For more information, visit www.hawaiiselfstorage.com.