May 12, 2020

Pine collects more than 3,600 cloth face masks for houseless and low-income residents The overall goal is 12,000 masks – more help is needed

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I — Honolulu City Councilmember Kym Pine has collected more than 3,600 donated cloth face masks to distribute for free to O‘ahu’s homeless and low-income residents. She announced the mask collection drive in a partnership with Twinkle Borge, of Pu‘uhonua o Wai‘anae in April.

Large donations of 1,000 masks each were generously made by Michelle Chiou, founder and namesake of the nonprofit Michelle Chiou Foundation, as well as by Howard Ky, principal of Ky’s International Fashion and Many compassionate individuals and businesses also have donated masks out of the goodness of their hearts. Video courtesy Councilmember Kym Pine:

“Cloth face masks are being sold for as little as $5 up to well more than $20. It is just not practical or affordable for our vulnerable houseless community or low-income residents. Even if they were able to find cloth masks for sale, feeding their families is the clear priority,” said Councilmember Pine.

Councilmember Pine and Twinkle Borge are tentatively scheduled to distribute the masks between Waikīkī and Kalihi on Wednesday.

“I am so grateful to Michelle, Howard and the other nearly three dozen contributors,” Pine said. “I want to personally thank fashion designer and Chinatown boutique owner Roberta Oaks; local artist Kahi Ching; local fashion designer Nicole Vermillion of Vermili Hawaii; Jennifer Thompson of Kula Bands on Maui; Allen Ngyuen of Paradise City Beauty Supply; Honolulu City Council Administrative Services Officer Ken Amazaki; coordinators of mask-making groups, such as Gaye Chan of Mask Maker Hawai‘i and Wendy Iwasaki from Masks4Hawaii and their legions of volunteers as well as independent sewists; Tammy Lem; Joanne Kawaguchi; Nobi Buntin; Tara Toone; Jan Dassance; Merranda Ramirez; Wrenn Okada; Ashley Remini; Rebecca Hartmen; Corinne Fujioka; Annie and Jamie; Carissa Wong; Gloria Dugay; Summer from Kaimuki; Mary Ann Stark; Shelby Maher; Cindy Paracuelles; Aya Brazell; Sarah Banner; Mary Shimizu; Marlene Arnett and local wood crafting artisan Zack Gravitt.

“These efforts prove that we in Hawai‘i care for one another like family and it is beyond heartwarming to see these donors give of their time, talent and money to help others,” Pine said.

Councilmember Kym Pine represents residents of District One (ʻEwa, ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nānākuli, Mā‘ili, Wai‘anae, Mākaha, Kea‘au, Mākua) and is chair of the City Council’s Committee on Business Economic Development and Tourism.

Media Contact:
Erika Engle

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Erika Engle
Communications Director
Councilmember Kym Pine
Honolulu City Council, District One
530 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Main 808.768.5001