West Hawai‘i Organizations Partner Up to Collect Donations for Maui Wildfire Victims
HCFCU and Ka‘analike Partner to Collect Donations, Raise Over $12K
Kailua-Kona, HI – In response to the devastating wildfires that swept through Maui on August 8, 2023, two organizations on Hawai‘i Island partnered up and answered the call for help. Nālani Freitas, chair of nonprofit organization Ka‘analike; and Nellie Medeiros, Corporate Development & Marketing Manager of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU); quickly mobilized their resources and kicked off the “Maui Strong” fundraiser on August 11, 2023.
HCFCU generously offered their Kaloko Branch as the designated donation drop-off location. Through a collaborative effort involving volunteers from Ka‘analike, HCFCU, and the Royal Order of Kamehameha I Kona Chapter, the once-quiet parking lot was transformed into a bustling donation hub.
Thanks to the outreach of social media and word-of-mouth, the response from West Hawaii’s community exceeded all 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, generously 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.
HCFCU showed their support for the fundraiser by covering the shipping costs for the 40-foot container's journey from Kawaihae to Kahului. Two anonymous HCFCU Board Members further amplified the impact by pledging 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.
Buskirk expressed her gratitude, saying, "Our hearts are deeply touched by the outpouring of support from our community during this incredibly difficult time for our neighbors on Maui. Together, in partnership with Ka‘analike and the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, we stand as a beacon of hope for Maui, offering strength and solidarity to those affected by the wildfires. We are committed to helping the community heal and rebuild."
While the Maui Strong campaign has ended, there is a long road to recovery for Lahaina and the West Maui community. HCFCU and Ka‘anlike encourage members of the community to continue supporting recovery efforts through donations, volunteer work, and simple acts of kindness.
The wildfires may have left a trail of destruction, but they have also highlighted the incredible strength and compassion of our community. As the healing process continues, let us all remember that together, we are Maui Strong.
Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, federally insured financial institution owned by its 47,000 members. HCFCU’s branches are located in Hilo, Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua, and Kohala. Additionally, HCFCU has Student Credit Unions in Hilo, Honokaʻa, Kealakehe, Kohala, and Konawaena High Schools. HCFCU provides service minded financial professionals that will help facilitate mortgage, land, construction, small business, education, personal and auto loans. HCFCU also offers complete checking and savings services, drive up tellers; credit and debit cards with rewards; online and mobile banking; investment services and youth programs. HCFCU also supports numerous Hawaii Island non- profit organizations and community events. Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island resi
dents. For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.