Keeping Our 'Ohana Strong

June 25, 2020

Parker School launched a much-needed COVID-19 Rescue/Emergency Fund two and a half months ago to support families experiencing a loss of income due to the ongoing pandemic.

Hawaii has been hit hard by the pandemic with widespread affects being felt on Hawaii Island, in Waimea and within our families. Following Governor Ige’s proclamations in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus, businesses were forced to close including schools, hotels, restaurants, retailers, and other tourism-based companies. Due to these covid-related shutdowns and 14-day mandatory quarantine for travelers, Hawaii currently has the third highest unemployment rate in the country at 23.5%, according to a report by Wallethub (link to article). Hawaii’s robust tourism and food service industries have taken the largest hit given these restrictions.

“Many of our families have one or both parents who work in the tourism or restaurant industry,” shared Gerry Delgado, Parker School’s Chief Operating Officer.  Seeing the need for financial assistance growing dramatically overnight, Parker School’s Board of Directors initiated the 2020-2021 COVID-19 Rescue/Emergency Fund to help families experiencing a loss of income due to the pandemic.

Through fundraising efforts and support from the Board, Parker has proudly been able to provide assistance to approximately 50 families, returning and new. “Without our generous donors, these families would not be able to attend school next year and our work is not yet done.  There are many more families who need our help,” says Board President David Kirk.  Mr. Kirk added, “Maintaining stability in our students’ lives during these unprecedented times is our greatest concern and priority.” 

“We have approximately 25 more families who are requesting financial assistance for this coming school year,” says Delgado.  The Board and Parker leadership continues to do whatever they can to help more families. 

If you can help a student continue their education at Parker School, we urge you to join our donors and make a gift to our 2020-21 COVID-19 Rescue/Emergency Fund.

If you’re a Parker School family who has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and need tuition assistance, please contact Gerry Delgado at gdelgado@parkerschoolhawaii.org.