Maui News

Mainland Couple Grants $400,000 to Help Grand Wailea Workers on Maui

February 18, 2021, 1:44 PM HST
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Grand Wailea, Maui. PC: by Wendy Osher (June 2019)

A mainland couple, who frequently visits the Valley Isle, donated $400,000 toward the Maui Mālama Project to assist workers at the Grand Wailea Maui with rent/mortgage, utility, child care and other expenses.

Dr. John W. and Patricia Canzano of South Carolina, funded the grant to help workers impacted by the closure of the resort due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canzanos are regulars at the Grand Wailea and wanted to give back to workers, some of whom they have come to know personally, according to Maui Economic Opportunity, which administered the project.

The funds were administered in December and assisted a total of 94 households with grants ranging from $330 to $5,000. Distribution was based on years of service and funds were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Payments were made directly to businesses for workers’ current, future and past due bills.

The largest number of payments were for credit cards and loans, followed by rent/mortgage and utility bills, including electricity, water, phone and internet, MEO reported.

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MEO has been assisting in the distribution of COVID-19 relief funds to Maui County residents and farmers. In addition to administering funds from private donors, like the Maui Mālama Project, MEO shepherded the $10 million Hawaiʻi Emergency Laulima Partnership (H.E.L.P.), which provided relief to 12,487 households and 33,715 people. HELP was funded by the County of Maui with federal CARES Act money.

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The Community Action Partnership nonprofit, formed more than 55 years ago, continues to provide rental and utility assistance to people in need. For more information about those programs, call 249-2970.

MEO offers programs countywide for business development; youth, including workforce preparation, substance abuse prevention and Head Start; senior club coordination; and integration of formerly incarcerated individuals into the community.

MEO also runs the Maui Bus ADA paratransit service through a contract with Maui County and operates human services transportation, providing rides for seniors, persons with disabilities, youths and residents in rural areas throughout Maui County.

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