FHB Employees Assist Maui Farm, Hawai‘i Schools
By Maui Now Staff
On Saturday, Aug. 15, 85 First Hawaiian Bank employees and their families assisted Maui Farm with gardening activities, including planting, propagating, pruning trees, moving plants and creating a new nursery for Native Hawaiian plants as part of the bank’s Community Care Employee Volunteer Service program, in which teams of employees partner with nonprofits on all islands and on Guam and Saipan throughout the year.
The Maui Farm is a nonprofit that teaches individuals and families self-sufficiency skills through farming and family centered programs.
Approximately 315 First Hawaiian Bank employees lent a helping hand on Saturday to assist nonprofits on O‘ahu as well. Armed with paint brushes and rollers, over 300 FHB employees also assisted Hawai‘i 3R’s (Repair, Remodel, Restore Hawai‘i’s public schools) with campus beautification projects on O‘ahu at Waipahu Elementary, Waipahu Intermediate, August Ahrens Elementary and Kaleiopuu Elementary.
The previous weekend, over 200 employees assisted with projects in Waianae: Nanakuli Elementary, Leihoku Elementary and Waianae High School.
Last year, FHB Community Care employee volunteers assisted with campus beautification projects which included building painting, removing graffiti and cleaning classrooms at three public schools in a single day: Kawananakoa Middle School, Mānoa Elementary, and Waialua Intermediate and High School.
Hawaii 3R’s is part of First Hawaiian Bank’s Community Care Employee Volunteer Service Program, a philanthropic initiative launched in 2014. In what will be their most ambitious project to date, Hawaii 3R’s will tackle maintenance projects at 21 public schools in just seven days. FHB is also making a $50,000 contribution in addition to providing the sweat equity of over 1,000 volunteers to help with painting at 18 O‘ahu and three Hawai‘i Island public schools beginning Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, and ending Sept. 26, 2015. No state dollars will be used for the projects. Funding will be used to purchase paint and supplies.
Throughout the year, teams of bank employees partner with nonprofits to assist with community service volunteer activities on all islands and on Guam and in the CNMI. In 2014, over 1400 First Hawaiian Bank employees provided nearly 10,000 volunteer hours to assist 16 charities in Hawai‘i, Guam and the CNMI.
Projects by Hawaii 3R’s have been completed at nearly every public school across the state, resulting in a “savings” to the state of over $43 million over the past 14 years.
Hawaii 3R’s, which was started in 2001 by the late US Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, brings together financial resources and volunteers to address the Department of Education’s backlog of repair and maintenance projects at Hawai‘i’s public schools.
“This is one of our more ambitious projects to date both in scope and number of volunteers,” said Alan Oshima, chairman of the Hawaii 3R’s board of directors. “Many of Hawaii’s public schools have repair and maintenance needs that can be completed with community involvement. This shows that an investment of dollars and ‘sweat equity’ can make a tremendous difference in our schools.”
Hawaii 3R’s, started in 2001 by the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, brings outside financial and human resources together to address the approximate $640 million repair and maintenance backlog in Hawaii’s public schools. Until a couple of years ago, Hawaii 3R’s received assistance from the state in the way of grants-in-aid to supplement the R&M work at public schools. Hawaii 3R’s has not received a state grant since 2012. It does receive some funding through a state tax return check-off box for school repairs. With so many funding needs facing the Department of Education, repair and maintenance projects are consistently deferred or put on hold. Community partnerships allow Hawaii 3R’s and the DOE to address these repair and maintenance projects, which become increasingly difficult to catch up when neglected over time.
“There’s a lot of aloha for the public schools among our employees, many of whom are graduates or have children attending public school,” aid Bob Harrison, First Hawaiian Bank’s chairman and CEO. “So we are very excited to be partnering once again with Hawaii 3R’s to help beautify 21 school campuses. As a community bank, helping schools in the neighborhoods we serve is our way of building stronger communities for us all.”
For more information about First Hawaiian Bank, go online.
Dean Duque and Leland Kahawai
Dean Duque and Leland Kahawai