Abaya Strong Ohana Lava Fund

$7,887 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 88 people in 18 days
     We live on Moku Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. On May 3, 2018, we were evacuated from our home due to the first of many volcanic eruptions that have occurred. We only had a few hours to gather what was most important to us. We (including myself, my daughter Leilani, her significant other Kalani, son Kai (6), daughter Mānaia (20mo), and two dogs gathered what we could in the time we had and left in our only vehicle. As of today, there are a total of 14 volcanic eruptions that have occurred within our community's subdivision with the closest eruption only a few blocks away from our home. In addition to the lava, toxic gases (carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and others) are also a threat to our subdivision which makes it unsafe to return home for long periods of time. At this time, they do not anticipate the eruptions to slow down. To see the latest eruptions please visit the USGS website.
     My daughter, Leilani, has been able to get back to the house twice to retrieve important items. However, due to the uncertainty in whether or not we could return home (it was case by case, minute by minute) the only vehicles that we could afford to gather were those owned by family and friends. Ideally, we would have rented a U-Haul, however, we are not in the position to rent one with the uncertainty that we would not be able to enter. They were able to carry out two loads so far but we still have so much that was left behind. We are hoping, once we can find a stable place to live and we have the financial resources, to return back to retrieve the rest of our belongings. 
     At this point, we are putting our pride aside and asking for help. I ask not so much for myself, but for my daughter Leilani, Kalani and 2 grandbabies. This has been a huge financial burden for my daughter to not only care for her ohana (family) but also financially supporting myself, her disabled mother. We need to relocate as soon as possible and need help financially to secure a home. The cost of living in Hawaiʻi is very expensive with the cheapest rent, unfurnished in the Hilo area running around $1,500 a month (not including utilities). We need financial help with rent deposits, first months rent, pet deposits, utility deposits, and replacing those items that were left behind. In addition to these expenses, we will also need help recovering from the unexpected expenses in addition to our everyday expenses (food, school tuition for Kai, diapers for Mānaia, etc). 
     You can find my pictures, videos (which was featured in over a dozen different newscasts around the world), and lava eruption updates on Facebook under Maija Stenback, they are public or you can message me.
     Again, mahalo (thank you) for taking the time to read our story and we appreciate your kōkua (help). Mālama pono a me ke aloha.
   - - Maija
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Leilani's car was covered in ash by the time she got to Hilo from Ocean View. Leilani is going back to work and Kai has school. Mānaia, Kalani and I are staying back in Ocean View. Leilani and Kai are still in their tent at friends house in Hilo.
With generous donations they were able to purchase a 10X20 sturdy tarp/tent to go over their tent that was getting pounded by the Hilo rains. Thank you so much!!
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Pix of Leilani and Kai's home Mon-Fri. I'm here in Ocean View with Mānaia. Housing has been very difficult to find anything yet alone a place that will allow dogs.
Everything still up in the air as Leilani has to find a new job when her current one ends in July. (Grant funded with Univerity of Hawaii at Hilo) She has her Masters in Marine Conservation. Kalani has at least 2 yrs work here, South Point side should they take that route. Kalani has his own Tile and Flooring Co. He does beautiful tile work!!
Kai went back to school today, first time since the erruption. Leilani's first day back at work today too. She said she's swamped! Her project has been the cesspool pollution in Puako, North kona , of which she has been published twice and they have used her work to pass into state law the future elimination of cesspools. Yes, I'm one proud mama!!
We're doing ok, just taking day by day and sometimes hour by hour. Plans change in a heart beat. Our house in Leilani Estates is still standing with the lava stalling about 2 blocks away. All current eruptions are below us. We are currently up to #19 erruptions and 36 homes destroyed. Last erruption is now closer to the Puna Geothermal Plant.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. With aloha, Maija (Leilani's mom)
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Mānaia: "I wanna go home!"
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$7,887 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 88 people in 18 days
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