Project Pilina, a program of Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) focused on sourcing foster care families, received nearly $7,000 from the Ohana Fuels “Fuel Up. Do Good.” program to support graduating youth in foster care. During the months of October through December, Ohana Fuels donated a portion of every gallon of gasoline purchased at all Ohana Fuels stations in that community to directly support foster care youth in East Hawaiʻi.
Funds raised from the Ohana Fuels “Fuel Up. Do Good.” program will aid East Hawaiʻi high school students in foster care to purchase caps and gowns, prom attire and any additional self-care essential items needed. Remaining funds will be used to distribute meal gift cards for foster homes to host a welcome dinner for newly placed youth.
“For some teenagers in foster care, especially those living in shelters while attending high school, participating in graduation or prom can be costly and oftentimes not a priority,” said Alana Power, Project Pilina project director. “Our hope is to help them celebrate these milestones and let them know that they deserve everything they worked for and have fun with their class.”
On any given day in Hawaiʻi there are more than 1,250 keiki in foster care, of which more than 300 are 13 to 17 years old. Project Pilina recruits and guides resource caregiver (foster parent) applicants through the initial steps of the general licensing process to foster in Hawaiʻi. The program seeks to build relationships with island communities by raising awareness about foster care and connecting with resource caregiver applicants.
“We’re grateful for this opportunity to partner with Project Pilina,” says Kimo Haynes, president of Hawaii Petroleum. “Their work with foster keiki is invaluable for our community and we want to thank the community for supporting them through the ‘Fuel Up. Do Good.’ program.”
The Hilo Crescent Lions and Hilo Crescent Leos clubs waved signs that read “Fill up for Foster Care” in front of Puainako Minit Stop during the weekends. The club members volunteered their time for Project Pilina’s free car wash events where donations totaled $941. Together with the support of the community members from over eight Hawaiʻi Island Ohana Fuels locations, the Ohana Fuels campaign raised $6,920.82.
“It was really amazing to have the whole community come together for this. We are so appreciative to Ohana Fuels for this donation and looking forward to giving back to our youth in Foster Care, and the gracious Resource Caregiver homes,” said Power.
There are several ways to support Hawaiʻi’s keiki in foster care. Every month, Project Pilina hosts live virtual information sessions where participants have an opportunity to hear directly from resource caregivers (foster parents), experts in the field, and other voices in the community. For more information, go to pidf.org/projectpilina.