The $400,000 Maui Malama Project, administered by Maui Economic
Opportunity, assisted 94 households of Grand Wailea Maui workers with
rent/mortgage, utility, child care and other expenses.
Dr. John W. and Patricia Canzano funded the grant to help workers impacted
by the closure of the resort due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents of
South Carolina, the Canzanos are regulars at the Grand Wailea and wanted to
give back to workers, some of whom they have come to know personally.
Administered in December, the grants ranged from $330 to $5,000 based on
years of service and were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Payments were made directly to businesses for workers’ current, future and
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.
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 Malama Project, MEO shepherded the $10
million Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership (HELP), which provided relief
to 12,487 households and 33,715 people. HELP was funded by the County of
Maui with federal CARES Act money.
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; youths, including workforce preparation, substance abuse prevention and Head Start; senior club coordination; and integration of formerly incarcerated individuals into the community.
The agency 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.