Kula Catholic Community plays Santa for 36 MEO Head Start families

Home » Programs & Services » Early Childhood Services » News & Galleries » Kula Catholic Community plays Santa for 36 MEO Head Start families
December 19, 2023

Christmas for 36 Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start families will be merrier this year thanks to the annual gift-giving Santas of the Kula Catholic Community.

The three Kula-area congregations continue a tradition that spans at least 15 years of providing gifts to Head Start preschool families, who are struggling financially. Head Start offers preschool without cost to income-qualifying families of 3 and 4 year olds through centers on Maui and Moloka‘i.

Henrietta Chong, a past MEO Volunteer of the Year, was lead coordinator of the holiday event once again with the support of her daughter, Malorie Chong, and other parishioners of Kula Catholic Community, which includes Holy Ghost Mission in Waiakoa, Our Lady Queen of Angels in Kēōkea, and St. James Mission in ‘Ulupalakua.

Chong worked closely with Lani Koki, MEO Head Start Eligibility Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance (ERSEA) Manager, to identify families in need during the holiday season.

The Kula Catholic Community hosted an Angel Tree at its churches with parishioners granting holiday wishes of Head Start family members by purchasing a toy or other items.

The gifts were delivered to MEO Head Start offices in Wailuku on Sunday.

“This annual gift donation event is made possible by the parishioners representing the Kula Catholic Community and Henrietta, Malorie and their incredible team of supporting volunteers,” said MEO Early Childhood Director Debbi Amaral. “Each recipient of a gift will know that they were thought of and cared about as they received a piece of Christmas magic.”


Henrietta Chong (right) coordinated a Kula Catholic Community effort that presented holiday gifts to 36 families in need in Maui Economic Opportunity’s Head Start program. Her support team included daughter, Malorie Chong.


Kula Catholic Community delivered enough gifts for 36 MEO Head Start families on Sunday to the Head Start office in Wailuku.

More News