Save the Animals: Save Puna, Hawaii

$2,818 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 29 people in 1 month
Over the past month, the lives of those living in Lower Puna, Hawaii were changed forever. Mount Kilauea has been consistently erupting for a little over a month now and thousands have been left homeless due to the destructive force of the lava flow, which as I type this, is still flowing like a river where homes and farms once stood.

It's odd writing this, really, as I live hundreds of miles away from Hawaii. But I've taken it upon myself to author this GoFundMe page because there are loved ones of mine, and many others, still fighting the good fight on the ground in Puna. 

My name is Aaron and I am a writer living in Los Angeles. My best friend of 30 years, Calvin, along with his husband Craig, moved to the Big Island in 2015 after some very personal challenges: Calvin's dad, grandmother, and mother died in a span of 8 years, he developed an advanced bone condition, Craig had multiple Cancer scares...per doctor's orders, they needed a newer, healthier environment.

Hawaii proved to be that healthy environment. In just three years of moving to this island paradise, Calvin and Craig turned themselves into legitimate farmers. They cultivated three acres of farmland -- with 135 chickens, 10 goats, and promising pineapple, coffee, and chocolate crops, and much more. Just a few months ago, Kapoho Coffee and Chocolate Farm got their first coffee beans bagged, and received high ratings and rave reviews. Things were looking good.

Then the volcano erupted and, in the wake of the lava flow and the poisonous gases, so many have been left homeless. For a while there, Calvin and Craig were in the clear.

Until a couple weeks ago.

In the middle of the night, sirens rang and the military came. They were evacuated with little time to grab meaningful items. Unfortunately, a large number of irreplaceable items disappeared in the lava -- Calvin's mother's ashes, half a million dollars worth of personal artwork, photos of five generations of family, all their coffee and chocolate crops, etc. 

But thankfully, their animals got out. Their goats and chickens have temporarily been sheltered at a woman's farm in Mountain View. While I write this, I am being informed that the government is aiming to turn the land that once featured homes and farms -- personal space for hundreds of folks -- into tourist attractions. While many are still in shelters, unsure of their next moves, it's looking like the government is planning to extend Volcano National Park. Tourist boats are already gawking at Calvin and Craig's land, which is still engulfed in flowing lava. 

There's a real concern that FEMA money will not be received. The only insurance company in the area that covers loss at the hands of lava flow destruction may go belly up due to all the claims they are receiving. It's a mess.

And yet, through it all, Calvin and Craig have told me they want this page to be about the animals ... and not their own personal needs. They may be without a place they can call home, or the human comforts we take for granted like computers, cell phones, and a bed with comfortable pillows and sheets, but they recognize that this catastrophic event is bigger than their own experience. Aside from the many residents who have been displaced, whose homes and property are being looted as they remain in shelters, there are many more animals -- both farm animals and domesticated pets -- who are in dire need of rescuing and shelter.

As Craig tells me, their goats need a new home before pregnant Veronica gives birth. They may have lost $100,000 in crops, but those are things that are re-growable in time, depending on location and weather conditions. 

While Calvin and Craig are only focused on building new stables, fencing, watering stations, stations for milking, medicines, and food, this GoFundMe page should also be looked at as a place to donate for like-minded farmers who are also looking to rescue and rebuild. 

Unfortunately, the nightly news isn't closely covering how this event is impacting those local to the area in Puna, Hawaii. We need to get the word out to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard! She needs to hear from those outraged by the idea that they'd be putting the importance of Hawaii tourist dollars ahead of Hawaii's citizens themselves.

Please call her D.C. Office at 202-225-4906 and tell her it's time to act, to show the families impacted by this catastrophe that they're not alone and definitely not forgotten.
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Hey guys. I have been in touch with Craig who sent over some photos. As you can see, their chickens and goats are still alive and kicking at the refuge at Mountain View.

I did an interview with KFI News on Friday to get the word out. As well, it looks like Craig is going to be in L.A. this week so I'll have more info then.

From the sound of things, it's not looking good out there. According to Craig, roughly 600 homes have been destroyed. This is not counting farms any unpermitted which most farms had like stables, outhouses, storage, corals and riding rings.

FEMA is apparently there, but information and qualifications are inconsistent and just getting off the ground. Roughly 14 million in agriculture crops were destroyed. For instances, crops like the ones he and Calvin were growing, would've sustained them for years.

It goes on: Day care and children summer programs are now wiped out. They mostly used the community center in the city, the natural tide pools, warm ponds and fishing areas as part of their "natural daycare." All gone.

And the housing crisis grows. As one could imagine, the crisis management in the area is swamped. They were already understaffed and underfunded before the lava came. Now as stories surface of rampant looting and crime in the area, there's a consistent intrusion of tourism of the land. Before residents can even see their property or be offered restitution.
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Calvin and Craig put together a little video message for everyone.

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$2,818 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 29 people in 1 month
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