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Airmen support local Hawaiian community during COVID-19

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

As many face hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, JBPHH Airmen are helping the local Hawaiian community. 

Tech. Sgt. David Westerdale, 8th Intelligence Squadron Electronic Intelligency Analysis non-commissioned officer in charge, is leading the JBPHH effort.

So far, Westerdale collected 588 pounds of food, cleaning supplies, masks and toiletries, as well we $700 in donations.

“Tiffany Elias, a key spouse for the 8th IS, told us about the project,” said Westerdale. “From there, we contacted several Farrington faculty members and worked through specific items requests and donation details.”

Farrington High School Principal Al Carganilla issued a letter April 15, announcing project HOPE -- Helping Our People Endure. The Farrington Complex Schools are partnering with the local community with a goal to create 1,000 care packages for HOPE.

Roughly 60% of the almost 4,500 students are of low socioeconomic status, and many families are employed in tourism or non-essential occupations.

“I love to support the local Hawaiian community and I know my Airmen do as well,” said Westerdale. “It’s a small island that’s very dependent on tourism. We knew families would be hit hard by the shelter-in-place order and we wanted to help as much as possible.”

Care package are scheduled to be distributed May 2 at Farrington High School from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.