KAHULUI - In 2016, Maui Electric Company donated more than $148,000 in monetary contributions and over 1,400 volunteer hours to nonprofit and community organizations across Maui County.
These donations supported community services provided by various organizations, including Maui United Way, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui, University of Hawaii Maui College and Maui Hui Malama. Volunteer activities ranged from spearheading donation drives and donating blood to organizing and participating in community Adopt-a-Highway workdays.
"We all live and work in these islands we call home, and our Maui Electric 'ohana is strongly committed to doing our part in taking care of the people and communities on Maui, Molokai and Lanai," said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric.
Maui Electric Company’s Noe Lai (right) was recently recognized by Maui Electric President Sharon Suzuki as a 2016 Kokua Community Champion for her long-standing community service contributions to the Maui County community.
In recognition of her exemplary volunteer service, the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation (HEICF) honored Maui Electric employee Denise Noe Lai as a 2016 Kokua Community Champion.
With this recognition, HEICF made a $1,000 donation to Cancer Kids of Hawaii, Lai's nonprofit organization of choice, that supports keiki diagnosed with cancer in Hawaii.
"Whether she is helping to organize a school supply drive for Lanai students or gathering her fellow co-workers together to prepare a hot meal for those in need, Noe's spirit of giving is an inspiration to us all," said Suzuki. "We are honored to have employees like Noe who are always looking for ways to lend a helping hand."
In addition to volunteering for Cancer Kids of Hawaii, Lai dedicates her time to the Half Helen Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works with families and schools to strengthen children's social and emotional development and encourage academic success.
Since 2013, she has organized several volunteer opportunities for Maui Electric employees, including quarterly visits to prepare and serve dinner at Ka Hale A Ke Ola, Maui's homeless resource center, as well as an employee school supply collection.
In 2016, more than 22 boxes of school supplies donated by Maui Electric employees were hand-delivered to students at Lanai Elementary School and E Malama I Na Keiki preschool.
"I am honored to receive this award, especially for doing what I love to do," said Lai, a customer assistance representative at Maui Electric.
"I love being a part of my community and try to volunteer to make my community a little better. I chose Cancer Kids of Hawaii because it's a small organization doing big things for Hawaii families going through cancer treatment."
Cancer Kids of Hawaii Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the continuing support of children diagnosed with cancer and the families that support them.