LOCAL NEWS

Utah charity group collecting emergency supplies for Tonga

Jan 26, 2022, 1:49 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:58 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — As communications are re-established with the islands of Tonga, it is becoming clearer what the victims of the tsunami need.

And now charity group Honor 365, which helps veterans, first responders and their families, has created a way people can help and send supplies to Tonga.

“There’s been a huge groundswell of support for this effort, for this cause,” said Dave Durocher, who is part of a group helping to fill a warehouse with supplies to send to Tonga. “Utah is one of the most incredible states in this country, the most loving, generous, forgiving communities I’ve ever been a part of. It doesn’t seem like you have to ask for help, people just step up.”

That’s what people are doing this week. From N95 masks to first aid kits and shoes, people and businesses are showing their support of the people of the island nation hit hard by the historic volcano and tsunami.

This weekend, items collected from four different locations across northern Utah will be brought to this central location of The Other Side Academy. From here, they will be shipped to Tonga.

“They need all your help (and) donations,” said Joe Tonga, who has family and friends in Tonga.

One that told him about Honor 365, the charity organization back here on the mainland trying to help.

“It’s just very heartwarming. It’s very humbling just to be a part of this, to see the people here in Utah starting to give back,” he said.

Tonga says the people on those islands are thankful to be alive. But he says they need help.

“We’re here in America, I feel like it’s our obligation, we have to give back,” Tonga said, “and do whatever we can to possibly give back to them over there.”

Honor 365 posted needs on their website on Monday and said the response is amazing.

“It’s heartwarming, and really touching that Utah wants to help the way that they are. We are impressed always by the volunteerism in Utah,” said Ninzel Rasmuson with Honor 365.

You can go to honor365.org for details on drop-off locations as well as what they are collecting. They also say they could use cash to help pay for shipping.

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Utah charity group collecting emergency supplies for Tonga