The Ohala Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those in need, has launched its website at www.ohalafoundation.org and its headquarters on Tinian with a diverse set of programs to offer the CNMI and eventually the region.
The Ohala Foundation, started by the Mendiola-Long family on Tinian, was created to focus on feeding, clothing, training and medically assisting those most in need. The Ohala Clothing Closet accepts gently-used clothing for eventual distribution to the community. The Ohala Food Bank is a central network of companies, volunteers, and donors that seek to help those that are hungry through meal and food distribution. The Ohala Healing Program was launched as an initiative led by the Ohala Foundation to provide financial assistance to families in medical emergencies and to provide fundraising strategies to purchase much-needed medical equipment for rural hospitals on the islands.
“Our family developed this fundation to feature a set of different programs that affect those most affected by our challenging economic times,” said foundation chair and co-founder Phillip T. Mendiola Long. “Clothing, food, education, and medicine are four of the primary needs of our communities. The foundation seeks to reach out to the entire world and attract caring and generous partners that will assist us to ensure that, first, no one goes hungry here, and second, to provide other support to get families back on their feet. We have already partnered with Tinian Junior/Senior High School’s ROTC, National Honor Society and their Student Council that have already begun work with us in our goal of helping our community. There is a notable demand for support and assistance right now and we are actively trying to increase our capacity for being able to provide food security, health care and career opportunities.”
Tinian High School senior Tasi Long, who is the foundation’s vice chairman and co-founder, and, said, “After Super Typhoon Yutu struck Tinian in 2018, our entire family jumped into community service and led charitable response for food, clothing, generators, tarps, and solar lanterns. I discussed with my dad that I wanted to continue helping our community, but I wanted something long-term and an entity our community could depend upon in future times of need. That is when our family created the Ohala Foundation. I am hopeful that this organization will continue to lead in helping the entire Marianas defeat hunger, poverty, and respond to natural disasters.”
Other board members of the foundation are Cielo Long, Isa Ha’ani Long, Arley Long, and Ed Arriola Jr.
The Ohala Foundation will be launching new events in the next 30 days to commemorate the start of its operations. The Ohala Closet Grand Opening was held on Nov. 3, followed by the Ohala Community Food and Clothing Drive on Nov. 3 and 4. Food bank meal distribution will begin on Nov. 6. Toward the latter part of November, the foundation will conduct a Basic Customer Service Training Program on Nov. 20 and will feature a Spirit of Ohala Virtual Run on Nov. 27.
For more information on how to donate, volunteer, or avail of services, visit www.ohalafoundation.org or call 670-433-2664. (PR)