In communities worldwide, daily life has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic—and Maui is no exception. But in this time of great uncertainty, one thing is certain: The Maui community is filled with caring, compassionate individuals who won’t sit idly by while others are in need. Among them are Realtors Association of Maui members, who, despite being essential workers, have stepped up to help the community over the past few weeks.
Several RAM members, including Darnell Hookano of Old Republic Title Company, Melissa Zupner Montgomery of Wailea Realty Corp. + Windermere Real Estate and Marilyn Griffin of Island Sotheby’s International Realty, have been sewing and donating hundreds of face masks to anyone who needs them. In addition to a sewing machine, Hiro Ward of Fine Island Properties has been using a 3D printer to make protective masks and shields for Maui’s frontline workers and others.
Other RAM members are doing what they can to help keep others safe and nourished. Among them are Erin Clapper, Ayaka Hamai and Tiffany Hyde of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty Valley Isle, who, as volunteers for a nonprofit called Our Kūpuna, deliver groceries, medication and supplies to elderly residents so they can remain safe at home.
Al Chiarella of Coldwell Banker Island Properties is one of many RAM members who continue to deliver meals to homebound residents in South Maui as volunteer drivers for Hale Kau Kau.
In March, Alana Rucynski, Tania Harmon, Leslie MacKenzie Smith, Rocky Parella and Lydia Pedro, all from Wailea Realty Corp. + Windermere Real Estate, helped distribute grab-and-go breakfast and lunches to South Maui youth who might otherwise miss meals while school is out.
And Deanna Davis of Elite Pacific Properties has been coordinating weekly drive-through food distributions in Kīhei, Lahaina and Central Maui through a partnership with the Maui Food Bank and the Hawaiʻi State AFL-CIO Labor Community Services Program.
There are also several RAM members who are actively helping local nonprofit organizations navigate the COVID-19 crisis, like Liam Ball of Hawaiʻi Life Real Estate Brokers, who serves on the Habitat for Humanity’s board of directors; Alysha Nichols-Sparkman of Equity One Real Estate, who serves on the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s board of directors; Mara Lockwood of Maui Palms Realty, who serves on Nā Hoaloha’s board of directors; and Wendy Macaheleg of Coldwell Banker Island Properties, who serves on Maui United Way’s board of directors.
This isn’t the first time RAM members have mobilized to help their community. Throughout the year, volunteer-minded members give back in myriad ways: They organize beach cleanups, prepare and serve meals to Maui’s unsheltered, ensure students have the tools they need to succeed in school—and everything in between.
“In times of crisis and with so much uncertainty, it is truly a measure of a person that places others’ needs before self,” said 2019-20 RAM President Mike Trotto. “Our members demonstrate this commitment to the community each and every day by their unselfish acts of kindness and dedication to the people in need here in Maui.”
To learn more about the Realtors Association of Maui, visit www.ramaui.com.