A $400,000 donation has helped 94 households of workers at the Grand Wailea Maui resort with their rent or mortgage, bills and other expenses.
The resort temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the $400,000 Maui Malama Project was used to help the impacted workers, the Maui Economic Opportunity announced.
The Grand Wailea officially reopened on Nov. 15.
The grant was funded by Dr. John W. and Patricia Canzano, South Carolina residents and regular visitors at the Grand Wailea who wanted to give back to the workers, “some of whom they have come to know personally,” MEO said in a news release.
The grants were administered in December and ranged from $330 to $5,000 based on years of service. They were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and were made directly to businesses for workers’ bills.
The grants helped with rent and mortgage, utilities, child care and other expenses. MEO said the largest payments were for credit cards and loans, following by housing and utility payments.
MEO, a nonprofit agency “committed to helping low income individuals and families become stable and achieve economic security,” according to its website, has been assisting in the distribution of COVID-19 relief funds to Maui County residents and founders. Aside from administering funds from private donors, it was also involved in the $10 million Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership, which provided relief to nearly 12,500 households and almost 34,000 people. HELP was funded by Maui County, which used federal funding meant for coronavirus relief.
MEO also offers programs countywide for business development, youths substance abuse prevention, seniors; and formerly incarcerated individuals.
It also runs the Maui Bus ADA paratransit service via a contract with Maui County and operates human services transportation, providing rides for seniors, people with disabilities, youths and residents in rural areas throughout the county.