First Hawaiian Bank Extends Aloha Initiative Donation Deadline
By Sonia Isotov
With the second group of Japanese survivors of the March 11 Japan earthquake/tsunami due to arrive today, First Hawaii Bank is extending its donation collection period for the Aloha Initiative to July 30.
Those interested in making a contribution to the Aloha Initiative may do so at any First Hawaiian Bank Branch in Hawaii, Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Island (CNMI) through July 30.
Funds donated by individuals and businesses including First Hawaiian Bank, Relativity Media, and Mana Foods are being used by the Aloha Initiative to purchase discounted airfares made possible by Japan Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines for travel from Japan to Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines has also provided complimentary interisland airfare for the Japanese participants.
The Aloha Initiative is a program of the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui to provide citizens of Japan temporary respite from the March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. Japan residents selected for the program are being flown to Hawaii to spend up to 90 days with volunteer host families on Oahu and Maui.
The first group of sixty-eight Japanese survivors arrived in Hawaii on July 4, 2011. A second group of twenty-eight Japanese students and chaperones arrive in Hawaii today to spend 19 days on Maui for respite care following the devastation of the March 11 Japan earthquake/tsunami.
To date, First Hawaiian Bank’s fundraising efforts have reportedly exceeded over $1.5 million in donations in support of Japan’s recovery, including a $25,000 donation to the Aloha Initiative. On March 11th , the bank established the “Japan-Hawaii Relief Fund,” contributing the first $117,000 to the Fund which eventually collected the equivalent of 100 million Yen for the Japanese Red Cross Society.