Maui Wears Jeans for Japan, May 13 2011
By Wendy Osher
Friday, May 13th is “Wear Jeans for Japan Day” in Maui County. The proclamation, made by Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, was borrowed from a successful “Jeans for Japan” fundraiser held at the Carden Academy on Maui in March for ongoing earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.
The school’s 118 students raised more than $1,000 in a single day by offering donations in exchange for a one day pass to wear jeans at school.
“If Carden Academy can raise that much money in one day, think what the County of Maui can do,” said Mayor Arakawa. “I want to challenge our community, including businesses, nonprofit organizations, and schools, to participate in the May 13th fundraiser to support the relief efforts in Japan,” he said.
The organization on Maui which generates the most donations per employee, student, or member will be recognized by the Mayor at the 11th Annual Maui Matsuri Festival the following day, on Saturday, May 14 at the University of Hawaii – Maui College.
Donations raised from the fundraiser will support the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui’s Japan relief effort, “The Aloha Initiative.” The program raises funds to bring evacuees from the recent Japanese nuclear disaster to Maui by matching them with host families on the Valley Isle.
“To date, over 130 families have stepped forward to serve as host families to people who have either lost their homes or were forced to evacuate,” said Keith Regan, the project’s co-founder, who is currently in the Tohoku region of Japan to finalize details of the home stay, respite program.
Carden parent and international recording artist Mishka is also contributing to the cause by providing a free download of his song “One Tree” for event participants. He will also perform at the Maui Matsuri event. “Japan and my Japanese fans have shown me so much love and support over the years. It is a place that is very close to my heart,” said Mishka. “I offer this song from my heart for Japan’s healing,” he said.
“We certainly appreciate the manner in which our community has shown concern for the people of Japan as well as action,” said Mayor Arakawa.
Businesses, groups and schools wanting to accept Arakawa’s challenge are asked to sign up by May 6, 2011. To register, those interested should fill out the registration page online at www.wearjeansforjapan.com.
*** Supporting information courtesy County of Maui.