The damage done by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 crossed continents. Immediately following the disaster, Governor Abercrombie assigned the Lieutenant Governor to oversee damage assessment for the State and to obtain federal assistance to aid Hawai‘i’s recovery as quickly as possible. The Lieutenant Governor followed up the assessment by meeting with federal stakeholders in Washington D.C. By the first week of April, the President issued a federal disaster declaration, providing assistance for infrastructural repair for O‘ahu, the Hawai‘i Island and Maui.
Beyond our State, Aloha For Japan was a Hawai‘i charitable coalition coordinated by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and driven by Hawai‘i’s major banks, credit unions, and a host of island businesses and organizations following the disasters which struck Japan in March of 2011. Within a six-month period, Aloha For Japan raised over 8 million dollars through special events, fundraising drives and the sale of specially designed Aloha For Japan t-shirts.
It was simultaneously a creative and well organized team effort, which was the result of a community-felt need to assist victims of this terrible disaster. Contributions were donated to two partner charities: Hawai‘i State Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Japan-America Society of America. Aloha For Japan formally ended its campaign in early October of 2011.
“The Aloha For Japan campaign is a manifestation of generosity and compassion that the people of Hawai‘i graciously possess. It is a reflection of our long history of friendship and fellowship. It made us feel bonded with Hawai‘i. It made us feel connected to Hawai‘i.”
– Yoshihiko Kamo, Japanese Consul General in Honolulu