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Support the Aloha Initiative

By Staff | Jun 16, 2011

Next month, Maui households will cheerfully welcome visitors facing a crisis at home.

The Aloha Initiative will provide citizens of Japan displaced by the March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis with a home in the islands beginning in early July.

These residents of Japan were selected for the program on the basis of greatest personal need and circumstance. That says a great deal, considering the massive destruction and suffering caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake on March 10.

The Aloha Initiative will pay for ground and air transportation to and from Hawaii, and these survivors will spend up to 90 days with host families willing to take them in and treat them like ‘ohana.

While more than $115,000 has been raised so far — including more than $35,000 in the “Wear Jeans for Japan” fundraising effort in May — Aloha Initiative Honorary Chair Alan Arakawa, Maui County’s mayor, said that more funds are needed to support this massive goodwill effort.

Donations for The Aloha Initiative are welcome at any First Hawaiian Bank location in Hawaii through June 30, 2011.

Donations from activity providers, grocers and restaurants are also sought. Members of the Maui community can also help by offering translation and transportation services.

To help in any way, call 280-1299 or visit www.alohainitiative.com.