Mahalo nui loa for signing up to staff our Activate Hawaii Aid Hotline! We sincerely appreciate your help with getting our keiki, kupuna, friends, and neighbors the emergency food assistance they need to get through these difficult times.
Please read all of the information below to educate yourself on the what, why, and how of this hotline so you can take calls with confidence! Read on for tips on how to be an effective call taker and a list of resources to share with callers should requests beyond food assistance arise.
Activate Hawai‘i Aid launched the Community Pulse Survey in March 2020 to find out who needs food assistance and who can kōkua during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The survey is available online, but not all households have access to the internet or a device, so a hotline was established.
The arrival of the COVID-19 virus to Hawaiʻi has created a lot of uncertainty in our community about the future. It’s going to take all of us, working together in a coordinated way, to ensure our keiki, kūpuna, and our most vulnerable have what they need during this difficult time.
kūpuna (seniors) and individuals with pre-existing health conditions are even more susceptible; we can help them stay home by getting them essential food and household supplies.
Knowing where vulnerable households are will help our partners deploy resources strategically and efficiently. It will also help to identify food gaps so we know where to direct more support.
In times of crisis, our human nature kicks in and we want to find ways to be useful and contribute. Due to the nature of the coronavirus, however, we are required to stay-at-home and isolate. Being a part of the virtual call center feeds our desire to help others, makes us an important part of the collective effort, and allows us to participate safely.
The Activate Hawai‘i Aid food access hotline is open Monday and Tuesday from 8am to 12pm.
Volunteer agents will be helping callers complete the Community Pulse Survey, intaking RSVPs for our programs—like Keiki Care Packs and the #FeedThePeople – Puna Program—and helping callers with questions about other kinds of assistance [please refer to the resource listing below and help connect callers to what they might need.]
Toky is the web-based phone system that we use for agents to log in and take calls. You can access the system using any web browser on a desktop computer or you may also download the Toky app for iPhone or your Android or Google phone. In order to receive calls on a desktop computer, you’ll need both a microphone and speakers plugged in and turned on. Headphones with a built-in microphone (like Apple AirBuds or EarBuds) are ideal.
Once you log in, you’ll be “live” and able to receive calls through Toky on your browser or your smartphone. When you are finished with your shift, please remember to LOG OUT of Toky!
You will be helping callers complete the Community Pulse Survey and RSVPing for our various programs. Smiling when you answer the phone and throughout the conversation will help set a positive tone in your voice. Speak slowly and clearly, and listen closely. Some people may be lonely and just want to talk story. Be kind and compassionate—it’s a stressful time. Once you have helped the caller, remember to thank them for calling. Below are links to the different forms and programs.
If the caller asks for any additional information it is at your discretion whether to provide that information as long as it is from a trusted source, currently the best resource we can suggest are state, county, and federal websites as well as vibranthawaii.org.
If you have any trouble with the Toky system, need further clarification on anything, or otherwise have any questions or feedback, please contact Cody Chapin—Legislative Assistant to Hawaii County Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz (District 4)—via email or you can also feel free to text during business hours at (808) 888-9799. Thank you again so much for your help from the bottom of our hearts!