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Maui’s Malama Kaua’i Collection Drive Fills Container With Over 2,000 Items

A mahalo sign is held by organizers Tiare Lawrence, Zeke Kalua and Mahina Martin at the completion of the community collection. PC: Mahina Martin

In response to Kaua’i’s flooding disaster, Maui’s community provided items identified by residents of Kaua’i as most needed for their recovery and clean-up efforts. A trio of community organizers Zeke Kalua, Tiare Lawrence and Mahina Martin rallied the community and in a two-day weekend effort over 2,000 items were collected – enough to fill a shipping container to the brim. Among the items collected were rubber boots, first aid kits, tarps, shovels, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, chainsaws, water and baby items. Gift cards were also accepted for stores on Kaua’i and over $2,200 in gift cards were donated, including a surprise $1,000 gift card from Maui family owned business Maui Babe Tanning Lotion. Walk up cash contributions for Malama Kaua’i brought in $1,150.

With support from businesses such as Alpha Inc., Goodfellow Bros., Alexander & Baldwin, Quick Tow and Maui’s different car and truck clubs, the filled container will ship to Kaua’i on Tuesday and head to the non-profit Kaua’i-based organization Malama Kaua’i for distribution.

The organizers, who combined their efforts towards one community drive instead of three separate ones, quickly discovered that there was wide-spread interest for Maui to do something to help with the disaster recovery. “It took us a couple of days to organize the community drive, we thought it might be quite a scramble to get it all together, but there was so much enthusiasm to go forward, so we just did,” said co-organizer Mahina Martin.

“Mahalo, Maui Nui, for your kokua in Kaua’i’s time of need. We are truly blessed by the incredible support and aloha from our community, so many came forward and gave what they could to help make a difference,” said co-organizer Zeke Kalua.

Firefighters from the Wailuku Fire Station pose after dropping of their donation items. PC: Mahina Martin

Co-organizer Tiare Lawrence reflected on helping Kaua’i recover, “Today I was reminded again of how proud I am to be from Maui. Helping to organize the drive was the least I could do to support flood relief efforts. My heart goes out to Kaua’i and all of the families affected by the flood.”

“Even before we could open the shipping container doors each morning, there were people waiting to contribute items for Kaua’i folks. Such an amazing response by our Maui community and nearly every person would say that this is Hawai’i and other islands would do the same if Maui was in need. For two days seniors, teens, families, businesses came and contributed – some would come with a few items and others would have a truckload, it all mattered. The shipping container is like a big gift box filled with Maui’s aloha,” said Martin.

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