Creative, hard-working, and humble — those are the words most often used to describe our Na Makamae for May: Alana Power, Community Liaison for Hui Hoʻomalu in West Hawaiʻi.
Alana came to Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) in June of 2017. She says while looking for a change in her career she stumbled upon the open position with Hui Hoʻomalu, and that every aspect of the position spoke to her.
As a Community Liaison, Alana works diligently to spread the word about the ever-increasing need for Resource Caregivers. She and the other liaisons attend community events, speak at conferences and meetings, lead HĀNAI trainings, and also serve as a kind of ‘personal assistant’ for families who have made the decision to become Resource Caregivers.
“I get to work with and for people and families who are choosing to love beyond limitations to help a child or children in the foster care system,” says Alana. “I love that while there is a tremendous heaviness in knowing what many of the children in our foster care system have had to face and are facing, this job gives an opportunity to be a part of the lives of the families that are stepping in to help support our children in foster care.”
Gregg Tanaka is Hui Hoʻomalu’s Program Coordinator. He met Alana when she was first hired and calls her self-motivating, willing to step outside the box to spread the word and educate the West Hawaiʻi community about the great need for more foster (Resource) families.
“Alana exudes the mission of PIDF in every way,” he says, “and therefore, she is truly inspirational to the work we all do in our community!”
Outside of her work with Hui Hoʻomalu, Alana started her own church five years ago in Kona. She created the Christian group, called Life Everlasting Ministries, in the hopes of creating a space for all people to come and ‘feel like they are enough’ and to ultimately serve their community from that space.
Through her ministries, Alana’s group participated in a weekly dinner for their local homeless shelter and organized a clothing drive, where they collected donated items for a Department of Human Services (DHS) “shelf” from which foster children can take clothes for themselves.
Alana has also utilized her church’s space to hold monthly foster licensing information sessions that led to the recruitment of at least five families. Boni Grimmel, Assistant Project Director with Hui Hoʻomalu, describes a time Alana’s ingenuity received praise outside of PIDF.
“The Department of Human Services Licensing Unit, during a conference call, thanked Alana and praised her for having turned over to the Department more quality resource caregivers in the last year than in the whole three years prior to her taking this position,” recounts Boni.
Community Relations Manager Carol Hayashida says Alana is truly making an impact in West Hawai’i, saying the families Alana recruits feel genuinely cared about from the very beginning of their process to become Resource Caregivers.
“Alana takes it upon herself to do a post-licensure follow up with the family, either visiting them at their home or in the community,” Carol explains. “By doing this, the families feel cared for and supported, even during difficult times, and are better able to continue on.”
Mahalo nui loa, Alana, for all your work, from your ʻohana at Partners in Development Foundation!