The Charitable Trust selected Kahi Kamali‘i for the donation “in recognition and furtherance of its outstanding work,” said Arlina Agbayani in a Nov. 23 letter to MEO accompanying the donation. “We deeply appreciate all that you do to help Maui’s people.”
The mission of the Charitable Trust is to communicate and demonstrate Ho‘okipa, generous hospitality, and Malama, deep care, for the community by supporting charitable needs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us, and we understand the incredible extra challenges confronted by nonprofit organizations and applaud the excellent work of you and your organization,” Agbayani said.
Kahi Kamali‘i, which provides services for children ages 1 to 3, remained open during the pandemic and cared for children of first responders and medical professionals. During the stay- at-home order period, the infant/toddler center asked families on furlough to keep their child home to offer spots to those working during the pandemic.
“Affordable quality child care, especially at the infant/toddler age, is a critical need for parents, who are working or going to school,” said Debbie Cabebe, CEO of MEO. “These parents need the peace of mind that their precious children are being cared for safely.
“The donation from the Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Charitable Trust will help Kahi Kamali‘i maintain and improve the program for keiki and their families. We are so thankful to the trust for selecting our program for this generous donation.”
Kahi Kamali‘i opened in 2003 as a partnership with the J. Walter Cameron Center, where the facility is located, to address the need for center-based quality care for children under 3 years old. The goal is to allow families to work, attend school or participate in employment training.
The program is licensed by the state Department of Human Services for 15 children and is currently at capacity. Licensing requirements at Kahi Kamali‘i include staffing of one lead caregiver and two other caregivers – to maintain a ratio of 1 adult to 5 children.
Kahi Kamali‘i is open year round from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays.
The County of Maui provides scholarships to keep costs affordable for families who are income eligible, with teen parents or with children receiving early intervention support through Imua Family Services.
For more information about Kahi Kamali‘i Infant/Toddler Center, call 249-2988.
Koa Rivera, 23 months old, plays at the My Garden Center at Maui Economic Opportunity’s Kahi Kamali‘i Infant/Toddler Center.
Maxine Sonis, 2, does some reading at Kahi Kamali‘i Infant/Toddler Center at the J. Walter Cameron Center.