“helping people... changing lives

We’re helping people, changing lives. You definitely can, too!

MEO’s services are constantly changing to meet the needs of children and families, the medically needy, the elderly and other low-income individuals. All MEO programs are tangible translations of the Promise of Community Action. There are always at least a few MEO programs in need of volunteers, cash donations or inkind gifts. You can help. MEO does what poverty demands, and you are welcome to join us in whatever way you can. Call us at 249-2990.

Public is invited

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MEO Youth Services participates in sign waving activity during Homeless Prevention Awareness Week.

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Mahalo to the County of Maui, Department of Fire and Pubic Safety for providing fire extinguisher training for our staff today.

42nd Annual Maui County Senior Fair!

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Mahalo to the County of Maui, Department of Housing and Human Concerns for funding the 42nd Annual Maui County Senior Fair and to the Office on Aging for partnering with MEO to produce the fair. More than 1,700 individuals participated in today's event. We are very thankful for our vendors, elected officials and those running for office for purchasing a booth and coming out to support our Kupuna. We are also grateful for our staff and volunteers. Without their support, this would not be possible.

Click here to see more photos...


Press Release

The Maui Non-Profit Directors is pleased to announce the nominees and recipients of its annual awards that were presented at the Maui Non-Profit Director's Annual Legislative Pau Hana held at the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center on Thursday, October 29.


Volunteers are recognized for giving of their time and financial support, as well as recruiting and motivating others to support various Maui non-profits.

This year’s nominees were Daniel “Dan” Smith, Habitat for Humanity Maui Restore, nominated by Poly Robets;
John W. Hoxie Jr, Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center-nominated by the staff of the Hui;
and Priscilla Veilleux, Maui Mediation Services, nominated by the staff of Mediation Services.

This year’s recipient is Mr. John W. Hoxie, Jr. of the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center. Mr. Hoxie has been a board member on numerous boards, but also is active volunteer. He truly believes in the importance of community and giving back. Mr. Hoxie has served on boards such as Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, Maui Country Club, Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center and the Maui Board of Water Supply. He is also a Super Donor of the Blood Bank of Hawaii.

His leadership in 2005 was instrumental in purchasing the 25-acre estate, helping to raise $5.5 million by meeting with countless donors and securing $500,000 from the State to save the historic estate.

Mahalo to John Hoxie, Jr.


Businesses are recognized for their financial support, the impact of that support, in-kind contributions and their commitment to encouraging and motivating others in their organization to support Maui non-profits. This year’s nominees are Chambers and Chambers Wine Merchants, nominated by Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, and Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar, (HC&S), nominated by Alice Lee of Go Maui.

We all know a little something about this year’s recipient HC&S, but few know everything they do. With a long standing commitment to the people of our island, this company donates time, talent and treasure! The company donates, but so do individual employees. Board participation, work days, grants, teams, you name it and they have done it all.

Each and every employee has a desire to support their community. When a company leads the way in donating generally it's employees follow suit. HC&S has donated almost $500,000 to non-profits on Maui. They help children kupuna, sports, education and so much more.

Their new Community Initiative was started in 2014 to support grass root community efforts and great ideas, both large and small.

We are proud to present the Maui Nonprofit Business of the Year for 2015 to Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company.


This annual award is presented to a non-profit director who has shown outstanding leadership, vision and improved programs and services. Nominations are reviewed by a panel of independent judges. This year's judges were, Grant Chun, Alexander and Baldwin, Bard Peterson, First Hawaiian Bank and Jordan Hart, Chis Hart and Partners.

Non-profit director nominees were Laks Abraham, Maui United Way, nominated by board members;

John Anderson, Na Hale O Maui, nominated by board president, Dawn DeRego;
Candice Carter, Na Hoaloha, nominated by board and staff members;
Alexis Dascoulias, Maui On stage, nominated by Judy Halp;
Caroline Kilborne, Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center, nominated by the Hui Board of Directors;
and Stacy Moniz, Women Helping Women, nominated by Danielle Bergan.

This year's recipient is Laks Abraham of Maui Untied Way. In the nomination application and her letters of support, Ms. Abraham is noted for her leadership skills and dedication to the mission of the organization.
Most notably, Ms. Abraham approached her board members about facilitating a task force of partner agencies and volunteers to help renovate the Women Helping Women Shelter. One letter stated, "It was Laks inspiration and leadership that rallied partners and volunteers to form a task force and commit to this enormous task."

Current Maui Non-profit President, Paul Tonnessen said, "As a former Maui Non-profit Director Board President , Ms. Abraham is a fine example for others."

The Maui Non-Profit Directors Association represents more than 55 Maui non-profits and provides a recognized forum for non-profit organizations to exchange personal and professional support and to cultivate resources to benefit themselves, their organizations and the community of Maui.

For more information contact Legislative Chair Debbie Cabebe at 249-2990.

Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month Robbie Robinson!

Maui Disability Alliance Legislative Forum

MEO staff and clients participated in the Maui Disability Alliance Legislative Forum last night at the Velma McWayne Community Center in Wailuku. Thank you to transportation panelist members Vivian Lindsey, Victor Lesa, Marc Takamori, and Council members Gladys Baisa and Stacy Crivello and to all who participated.

Trick or Treaters at MEO

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*For Immediate Release*

WAILUKU, MAUI – Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. is pleased to announce that a Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference event will be held on Maui on October 28 - 30, 2015 at the Westin Maui in Lahaina. It is expected that 250 Head Start and Early Head Start professionals from the mainland US, to the Outer Pacific Islands and Hawaii will attend. This event is cosponsored by the Head Start Association of Hawaii and the Region IX Head Start Association.

Region IX includes four states: CA, NV, AZ and HI. The Hawaii Association is inclusive of six grantees that operate Head Start and Early Head Start programs, with support to the Outer Pacific Islands of Guam, CNMI, American Samoa, and Palau.

The Federal department of Health and Human Services administered by the Federal Office of Head Start provides funding to Maui County for Early Head Start and Preschool Head Start services.

Early Head Start services for children prenatal to age three is provided by Maui Family Support Services. The program is funded for $1,282,179 to serve 119 children and their families. Preschool Head Start services for children ages 3 – 5 is provided by Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) Head Start. MEO Head Start receives $2,078,579 to serve 278 children and their families.

Early Head Start and Head Start offers comprehensive services for families that meet eligibility guidelines established by the federal governance and program services area needs. Families that are homeless, that are TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) eligible, children that are in Foster care, and families collecting Social Security Insurance (SSI) are considered categorically eligible for services. Income eligibility is based on the federal poverty guidelines for the State of Hawaii.

Comprehensive services include health and developmental screenings, mental health consultation, case management for resource and referral, inclusion services in partnership with the Department of Education, early education services with individualized goal setting and planning, and Family Engagement.

This conference is designed to provide tools and strategies that support programs working with young children birth to five. The focus is to respectfully support families to reach their fullest potential as their child's first and most important teacher.

For more information, contact MEO Early Childhood Services Director Debbi Amaral at 249-2988 or email her at debbi.amaral@meoinc.org


MEO Business Development Center October Graduation

(Wailuku, HI October 21, 2015) – MEO’s Business Development Program graduated twenty (20) students from the Core Four Business Planning course on October 20, 2015. Council Members Gladys Baisa and Stacy Crivello along with Mayor Alan Arakawa’s representative, Anthony Arakaki, participated in the graduation. Each of them gave encouraging words to the students to keep their commitments and never give up on their dreams.

Council Member Stacy Crivello and American Savings Banker Chuck Dando
with two core four graduates
Graduate Loke Kepano with
MEO BDC director Craig Swift
MEO BDC Committee Member Joseph Williams and his son Mike

During the graduation, the soon-to-be entrepreneurs were also able to work with bankers from American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and First Hawaiian Bank who gave advice on improving their business plans and what they can expect from commercial lenders. The graduating students received a Certificate of Achievement and a congratulatory dinner.

MEO BDC’s Core Four Business Planning is a 36-hour course on how to write a business plan while providing the information you need to know to start, operate and grow your business.

For those interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial training course you can call Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. at 249-2990. The next Core Four classes *will be held during the day*, from 9 am to noon starting November 3rd. One hour introductory classes will be held on Tuesday, October 27th and Thursday, October 29th from 9am to 10am at MEO’s Family Center, and also at the Maui County Business Resource Center (Maui Mall) on Wednesday, October 28th from noon to 1pm. The six-week series will be held at MEO's Family Center at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku.

Registration is required for the six-week series and can be done at the introductory classes or any weekday 8am to 4pm at MEO’s Family Center. Funding from the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Central Pacific Bank Foundation help to make tuition assistance for students of the Core Four Business Planning classes possible.


Craig Swift / 243-4317
MEO Business Development Center


Congratulations to MEO's employee of the month Alex Domingo!

Ashley Rendon-Castardo and Keonlei Nakila with Officer Rusty Iokia ​

The two King Kekaulike High School sophomores first met Officer Iokia 2 years ago as 7th graders from Kalama Intermediate School.  Both Ashley And Keonilei were among 4 Maui youth representatives in a Hawaii's Partnership Preventing Underage Drinking Youth Leadership Conference on Oahu in 2013.  Two years later, youth continue to participate in the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Program and  maintain friendship/partnership with Officer Iokia as he continues to encourage and support the program.  On September 2nd, Officer Iokia along with Officers Ned Kanekoa, and Jeremy Pallone-De La Torre as well as, Marc Chesick of Child & Family Services and a board member of Ka Hale a Ke Ola, presented at King Kekaulike High School as guest speakers for the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Program. Click photo to see class pics...

This is MEO youth at the Mayor Proclamation of Suicide Prevention Awareness Week for Maui County.  Setember 7-11, 2015

Press Release- For Immediate release

Effective Monday, September 14, 2015 a newly added service will be available to all Paratransit riders. Riders will receive automated "night before calls", allowing them to hear their reservations for the next day and offer the option to cancel if they choose to. Riders will also receive "on the way calls" five minutes before the vehicle's arrival.

The "night before calls" or "on the way calls" require that MEO have the rider's current home or cellular telephone number in the scheduling software system. "On the way calls" from any location other than the rider's home require that MEO have the rider's current cellular telephone number on file. Riders may choose to decline this service at no charge.

For further information call Harry Johnson or Sherrilynn Nishikuni at 808-877-7651.

Congratulations to MEO's employee of the month Po'ou'i Rano!


The Maui Nonprofit Directors Association is accepting nominations for the following:

*Community Business Award*
Nominate an outstanding business that supports nonprofits
- · Evidence of financial support of philanthropic projects in Maui County
- · Impact of the gift
- · In-kind contributions to support a nonprofit
- · Evidence of encouraging and motivating its employees to take leadership roles and serve on boards and participate in community activities

*Humanitarian Award*
Nominate an outstanding individual who free gives of time, talent and treasure
- · Time, effort and financial commitment spent on philanthropic activities
- · Evidence of success in stewardship, recruiting and motivating others

*Maui County’s Outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director*
Nominate an outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director
- · Leadership
- · Vision
- · Improving programs and services

Nominees and winners will be honored at MNPD’s Annual Legislative Pau Hana on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao.
Nomination forms are due no later than Monday, September 28, 2015.
Applications are available online at www.*mauinonprofit*.org 
Completed applications can be mailed to, Maui Non Profit Executive Directors Association P.O. Box 1186 Puunene, HI 96784 or emailed to: mauinonprofit@gmail.com.

For more information call Debbie Cabebe at 808-249-2990 or email her at: debbie.cabebe@meoinc.org

Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month, Mary Kaiwi!
. .

Kupuna Aloha Luncheon

More than 600 Kupuna and friends celebrated at the Kupuna Aloha Luncheon on Saturday, July 25 at the Grand Wailea. This annual event is made possible through the support of the Maui County Planning and Coordinating Council and Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc as well as many prize donors, the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa and event volunteers.

Click here to see Luncheon Photos...

Please follow the link below to view the Maui Public Transit Rider Education Forum. Share with your family and friends to inform them about transportation services available throughout Maui County. Mahalo to the Paratransit Advisory Council, the State Disability and Communication Access Board, the County of Maui Dept of Transportation and Office on Aging, Roberts Hawaii, MEO Transportation, and AKAKU Public Television for making this happen.

The MEO Public Transportation Rider Education Forum online

MEO Molokai celebrates 50 years! See photos here...

Congratulations to our newly elected board of director officers; President Kai Pelyao, Vice President Kevin Yoshida, Secretary Adele Rugg, and Treasurer Cliff Alakai. Mahalo for your service..

MEO Transportation has a new roof!   *Mahalo to Goodfellow Bros. for your generous support*

MEO provides the tools to help people and change lives with programs offered through five departments:

The BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER assists small business entrepreneurs with business plan training, credit assessment, and micro-loans for startup and expansion.

COMMUNITY SERVICES provides a wide array of services including rental subsidy, employment training and job placement, Enlace Hispano (Hispanic Link), weatherization and energy assistance, senior club coordination, prisoner reintegration, Hawaiian agricultural workshops, BEST Reintegration, Ke Kahua farm and more.

EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES provides quality infant care and early childhood education, offering toddlers a Head Start toward a better education and a better life.

The TRANSPORTATION Department provides rides to the doctor, to work, to school, to adult day care, for necessary shopping, and for other needs with both standard and wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles.

The YOUTH SERVICES Department provides youth with assistance to succeed in school and life through fun-filled opportunities to learn life skills, prepare for the workforce, and serve the community. The prevention of underage drinking, substance abuse, tobacco use, teenage pregnancy, and teenage suicide is consistently blended with youth program activities.

MEO is dedicated to providing tools for living, for earning, for self-reliance, and for community involvement. All programs are designed with the underlying belief that instead of giving people a fish, it is better to teach them how to fish for themselves.

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), chartered on March 22, 1965 is a private non-profit Community Action Agency. The current annual operating budget is $17 million dollars. MEO provides outreach and information, and administers human service programs to low-income persons, the youth, elderly, immigrants, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities and medical needs, and other disadvantaged individuals and families on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The agency was organized as a Community Action Agency under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to strengthen and coordinate efforts to eliminate poverty by providing opportunities in education, employment and training, transportation and other areas to help people, help themselves.

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Who we are

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), chartered on March 22, 1965 is a private non-profit Community Action Agency. The current annual operating budget is $17 million dollars. MEO provides outreach and information, and administers human service programs to low-income persons, the youth, elderly, immigrants, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities and medical needs...


99 Mahalani St, Wailuku HI 96793

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