Hawaiʻi Community Federal Credit Union, Ka‘analike partner to help Maui wildfire survivors
In response to the devastating wildfires that swept through Maui on Aug. 8, two organizations on Hawai‘i Island partnered up to answer the call for help.
Nālani Freitas, chair of nonprofit organization Ka‘analike; and Nellie Medeiros, corporate development and marketing manager of Hawaiʻi Community Federal Credit Union mobilized their resources and kicked off the “Maui Strong” fundraiser on Aug. 11.
The credit union offered their Kaloko Branch as the designated donation drop-off location. Through a collaborative effort involving volunteers from Ka‘analike, Hawaiʻi Community Federal Credit Union and the Royal Order of Kamehameha I Kona Chapter, the parking lot was transformed into a busy donation hub.
Through social media and word-of-mouth, the response from West Hawaiʻi’s
community exceeded expectations. In just four days of accepting donations, the site was inundated with an abundance of personal hygiene items, non-perishable food, supplies, and clothing for those in need.
The donated items were transported to a base yard where Freitas and her team organized, palletized and packed everything into a 40-foot container, provided by Ka‘analike. Upon the container’s arrival in Kahului, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I Maui Chapter handled the unloading and distribution of the donated items.
Hawaiʻi Community Federal Credit Union showed their support for the fundraiser by covering the shipping costs for the 40-foot container’s journey from Kawaihae to Kahului. Two anonymous credit union board members pledged to match staff donations, resulting in over $5,000 contributed by the Kaloko Branch staff. An additional $7,000 in monetary donations poured in from the local community.
While the Maui Strong campaign has ended, there is a long road to recovery for Lāhainā and
the West Maui community. Hawaiʻi Community Federal Credit Union and Ka‘anlike encourage members of the community to continue supporting recovery efforts.