Updated: October 1, 2022
Alexander & Baldwin has designated $200,000 of its 2020 Kōkua Giving charitable budget for Hawaiʻi nonprofits on the frontlines of COVID-19 relief. A&B recently announced it has completed its first tranche of giving including six grants to Maui non-profits to support a range of critical needs, helping to keep Maui residents—keiki to kupuna—housed, fed and healthy.
For Maui County, funds were provided for emergency rental assistance and financial counseling, kupuna and family meals, and an improved site for COVID-19 symptom screening at a local senior care home.
“Our employees are our eyes and ears on the ground, helping us to understand the most urgent needs in the community. We are also working closely with our Maui nonprofit partners to identify the immediate and long-term needs created by the impacts of the pandemic,” said Meredith Ching, A&B executive vice president, external affairs. “These first grants are a result of those conversations. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the people of Maui and dedicated to the community organizations providing critical services in these unprecedented times.”
The Maui County A&B COVID-19 grant recipients include:
- Hale Mahaolu: Rental assistance and financial counseling
Hale Makua: COVID-19 visitor screening facility
Kaunoa Senior Services: Kupuna meal delivery program
Maui Economic Opportunity: Administration of COVID-19-related financial assistance programs
Maui United Way: COVID-19 Emergency Safety Net Fund
Friendly Island United Way: Support for emergency meals and other priority programs
Kaunoa Senior Services, operator of Leisure and Congregate Nutrition classes and activities, converted to a home delivered meals program due to COVID-19 related restrictions.
“We could never have imagined how challenging 2020 would be for all of us, especially the seniors who remained homebound during the COVID-19 pandemic. With A&B’s continued support, Kaunoa was able to seamlessly transition our Senior Nutrition Program from providing meals for seniors at congregate lunch sites, to delivering meals safely to their homes,” said Ruth Griffith, Administrator, Kaunoa Senior Services. “A&B’s generosity plays a critical role in maintaining the health and safety of Maui’s kupuna. We extend our sincere mahalo to everyone in the Alexander and Baldwin ohana for this recent grant and for 44 consecutive years of generous support.”
Another grant recipient, Hale Mahaolu, develops, owns and manages low- and moderate- income housing for Maui’s families, seniors, and those with disabilities.
“The support that A&B is providing to Hale Mahaolu’s rental assistance program is of huge significance to our tenants, particularly those who reside at our family housing sites and work in businesses which are tourism oriented. Many of these families’ breadwinners have been furloughed or laid off from their jobs, thus creating a great deal of pressure on them to make ends meet for their families,” said Grant Chun, Executive Director, Hale Mahaolu.
“The infusion of funds into this program by A&B comes at just the right moment, when the funds that we have previously allocated to the program are close to being depleted. Further, against the backdrop of unemployment benefits being reduced over time, the assistance which A&B’s contribution represents is made all that much more meaningful and significant to our residents,” said Chun.
The remainder of the COVID-19 designated funds will be distributed later this year to address an anticipated increase in pandemic-related needs.
Carol Reimann, A&B’s Maui vice president said, “2020 marks our company’s 150th anniversary year. While we have paused our plans to commemorate this milestone with employee service projects on Maui, we are proud to continue recognizing our long-time partners delivering important programs and services to local residents in need.”
Ching called it a very challenging period for Hawaiʻi and the world saying, “Fortunately, however, Hawaiʻi is a different place with a culture like nowhere else—one of mutual respect, sharing and support amongst a population marked by diversity. A&B is proud to work side-by-side with our community partners to try to make a difference, one life at a time. We invite you to take a look at our latest Review of Giving, outlining A&B’s partnerships in the past year. While 2020 giving is taking a different course due to the unanticipated impacts of COVID-19, we remain committed to the community non-profits who work year after year, in good times and bad, to make Hawaiʻi a better place for all.”