After Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai in September of 1992, there were many families left homeless because their homes had been entirely destroyed. Many of these folks spent months in temporary spots and then in tents. They were forced to use outhouses and eat from campfires or at the disaster relief centers. And believe it or not, come December, I was still going to visit tent cities to search for people in order to complete FEMA inspection paperwork. This is how I found myself at the Hanamaulu Park tent city one morning. It had been raining for days and days and 100 or so households remained at this site because they had nowhere else to live.
I was walking around meeting up with folks when suddenly it occurred to me that these families would be in this tent city come this Christmas without anything. “Great,” I thought sarcastically to myself, “they’ll all have a delightful holiday season down here!” Suddenly, my inner Klinger-O’Reilly sprang to life. I could do something to improve their Christmas. I just knew I could! The wheels started to turn, and that was the first time it set in motion what would eventually develop into the idea for my C4DR organization.
Along my way, I have crossed paths with a few people who have tons of cash and charitable hearts. It was these people I reached out to in December of 1992, and they were willing to help me put together a Christmas for the families in #HanamauluPark. You can read more about this special Christmas (it is probably my favorite Christmas ever!) in my book.
Skip on over to my C4DR page and see if you’re not inspired to give to those suffering during disaster recovery.