Tribune-Herald donates warehouse space to Red Cross

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald donated warehouse space to the American Red Cross for its ongoing lava disaster relief efforts.

Late last week, the Red Cross put out a plea for help to find about 10,000 square feet of space in Hilo. The Red Cross said the space was urgently needed to store shelter supplies and other equipment as the organization’s relief efforts expand.

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David Bock, editor and publisher of the Tribune-Herald, said he asked his supervisors at Oahu Publications Inc., the parent company of the Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today, if he could offer space on the first floor of the Tribune-Herald building in downtown Hilo.

Bock said OPI President Dennis Francis immediately approved the request.

The Red Cross began using the warehouse Wednesday afternoon, Bock said. The organization was expecting a shipment of 2,000 blankets to arrive in Hilo.

“As our Red Cross Kilauea lava disaster operations ramp up to accommodate the potential for further evacuations, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the local community in offering to assist,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, American Red Cross CEO for Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.

“We were in dire need of warehouse space to store essential supplies like cots, water, comfort kits and other relief items,” she said. “Without hesitation, David Bock and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald stepped up to the plate and offered precious warehouse space to us at no charge. We cannot thank them enough for their wonderful contribution to our humanitarian relief effort here on the Big Island.”

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Bock said he was humbled the Tribune-Herald could help.

“This is a difficult time for so many,” he said. “Despite all the hardships caused by the lava, the aloha spirit is alive and well, and it’s part of what makes this community so special.”