By Wendy Osher
Maui Electric Company (MECO) will be among the many Maui groups participating in the “Wear Jeans for Japan Day” fund-raising effort this Friday.
MECO’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries has already raised $365,000 for relief efforts in Japan following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The funds were raised in a joint effort by the company’s subsidiaries: Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light Company and American Savings Bank (ASB).
Included in the total is $106,000 from company employees who donated funds through an employee matching grant program; $100,000 from the HEI Charitable Foundation; and $159,000 from customers of American Savings Bank.
“Hawaii’s communities have always felt a special aloha for Japan, and our HEI companies were proud to be a part of the statewide ‘Aloha for Japan’ fundraising effort,” said Constance Lau, President & CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries.
The funds raised will be donated to the American Red Cross and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii to provide support for the victims and their families affected by the tragic events.
The upcoming “Wear Jeans for Japan Day” takes place on May 13, 2011. The challenge issued by Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, encourages community members, including businesses, nonprofit organizations, and schools, to participate in the fundraiser by contributing money for Japan relief in exchange for being allowed to wear jeans to work, school, or play on the selected day.
The funds raised during the Maui event will support the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui’s Japan relief effort, “The Aloha Initiative,” which brings Japan evacuees to Maui by matching them with host families on the Valley Isle.