Not all elderly in Hawai‘i have ‘ohana nearby to look out for them during the deadliest global pandemic of the century. In response to COVID-19, Gabe Amey established Our Kūpuna in March to connect Hawai‘i’s seniors with community members who volunteer to provide free food, supply and medication pickup and deliver services on O‘ahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, Kaua‘i and Moloka‘i.
How It Works: The sponsor checks in with the kūpuna once a week via phone and asks if they need any food, supplies or medication (no narcotics). The sponsor will then shop and deliver the items to the kūpuna The sponsor will provide a receipt to the kūpuna for the items purchased, and the kūpuna will reimburse the sponsor for the cost of the items via cash or check (no credit cards allowed).
Screening Volunteers: The Our Kūpuna team screens volunteers to ensure they or any household member have had no COVID-19 symptoms within the last 30 days and have not traveled outside of Hawai‘i in the last 14 days. Anyone convicted of any crime will not be allowed to serve as a volunteer. Our Kūpuna also requires that applicants send a picture of their driver’s license and proof of auto insurance.
Screening Kūpuna: Our Kūpuna calls kūpuna applicants via phone and verifies date of birth, address, essential items they typically need, any medical conditions volunteer sponsors need to be aware of, and the best time to contact them.
Safety Procedures: Our Kūpuna takes the health of its clients and volunteer sponsors very seriously. The program strives to have little to no physical interaction between volunteer and kūpuna. Volunteers are required to follow a set of safety procedures recommended by Dr. Rupal Gohil in Kailua. If physical interaction is required, it is highly recommended that both parties maintain at least six feet of separation from each other. Safety procedures include but are not limited to: Pickup and delivery should be done solo. Sponsors are also not allowed to delegate this responsibility to another person. Volunteers must wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol) before and after making a delivery. Face masks and gloves (provided) are required. Volunteers will transfer items to bags and/or boxes outside of the kupuna’s door. A reimbursement plan must be arranged prior to delivery. Kūpuna should call their pharmacy to put their credit card in their system. Kūpuna must disinfect items upon receiving them.
If you are over 65, go to www.OurKupuna.com to get connected with a sponsor who can help get these items for you.
Volunteer as a Kūpuna Sponsor
If you’re interested in helping in your area, visit www.ourkupuna.com/volunteer. Our Kūpuna supports our kūpuna through grants and donations. To donate: www.ourkupuna.com/donate. Donate via check: Hawaii VA Foundation, 111 Hekili Street, #102, Kailua, HI 96734.