VASH Hawaii Island is a non profit funded by Hawaii Tourism Authority & VOCA along with other fundraising events hosted by VASH throughout the year.
To provide supportive services for visitors affected by crimes, have medical emergencies, experience the death of a loved one or suffer other adversities during their stay on Hawaii Island.
We recognize that even during fun and relaxation of vacations, unfortunate events can happen. When far from home, visitors do not usually have access to their own support systems and resources.
VASH assistance is designed to help visitors cope with or recover from a variety of unfortunate situations such as crime victimization, the loss of a purse or wallet, medical situations or the death of a loved one. We receive referrals from the Hawaii County Police Department, local area hospitals, airport security and others in the visitor industry, we asses each visitors situation and needs on a case by case basis and then offer appropriate supportive services.
Every visitor touched by adversity will also be touched by the Aloha Spirit. Our hope is that the stories our visitors tell upon returning home are all about the care and love they received- the aloha- rather than being about the unfortunate incident.
" Dear Phoebe,
This card is later than hoped but, I wanted to get you a good picture of the family you reached out to after our incident on our tour. We appreciate the kindness, patience and generosity you show us all. You turned a low point in our trip into a small bump. It's great to know Hawaii really lives up up to all our expectations. In spite of our incident, we all enjoyed Hawaii and all the great people we interacted with, but you were one of the best. Keep doing the great work of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii Island. We hope to return again!"
Phoebe Simon Barela-
VASH West Side Program Director
I moved to Hawaii in 2003 with my husband of 28 years and our two children. - Being a family of waterman our daily lives consist of getting in the ocean at least once a day.
I got involved with VASH three years ago & it was a perfect opportunity to give aloha to those who have been met with adversity so far away from home.
My love for the ocean has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge about Ocean Safety, Coral Reef Preservation, Sustainable Living & Aloha with visitors from around the world.
call us at the number that is most convenient to your location.
Hilo: (808) 756-1472