Companies show holiday generosity


POSTED: Sunday, December 07, 2008

Even with the economy in a stranglehold, employees of various island companies are continuing to adopt needy families under the Community Clearinghouse's Christmas program.





  Good Neighbor Fund Donations as of Friday 12/5/08

Sarah Elizabeth Fincke$500
Rosemary & Larence Mild$200
James Von Schilling Moore & Laurel Moore$200
In loving Memory of Kellie Ann Andrade$100
Herbert H. Frantz$100
Jeffrey E.J. Lee & Ina M. Lee$100
Mr. & Mrs. Calvin K.H. Loo$100
Raymond & Elaine Sakai$100
Hisaye Tanaka$100
Miram K. Cabral$30
Joseph Cuarisma, Jr.$25
Masako Nishimura$20
Previous total:$0



“;We haven't seen a major drop in the number of donors calling our office. Many large organizations - such as Alexander & Baldwin Inc., Castle Hospital and United Airlines - are still lending a hand to families that are financially struggling. We have also seen a number of new companies calling us to adopt a family this Christmas,”; said Scott Morishige, director of the Adopt-A-Family program.

The Star-Bulletin supports the nonprofit's effort with its annual Good Neighbor Fund drive.

Kaiser Permanente's Health Information Management Department volunteered this year to take part in the program at the suggestion of one of its employees.

Maria Kaneshiro, department director, said, “;Just seeing so many people jobless and the amount of need in the community made people look at their own lives and realize 'I'm happy to have what I have,' and say: 'We need to do this.'”;

Attorney Charlie Loomis said his law department at Alexander & Baldwin “;will give at the same level as before. We realize even though things are tighter, people still need help.”;

“;Everybody looks forward to doing it. A number of people came up to me even before I sent out an e-mail”; about participating, said Loomis, who initiated the group effort with eight colleagues about four years ago.

According to Kelly Fujinaga, who is spearheading the Kaiser department's 45 employees, “;All seem to be very excited about it.”; Workers jumped in to make goodies for a bake sale on Friday where $365 was raised in the first 45 minutes, she said.

The department decided to adopt a family for the first time this year because the economy is bad and because Kaiser encourages its employees to get involved in community service, she said.

“;When we do something together as a department, it brings the morale up (and) we are able to get more done as a group instead of individually,”; Fujinaga added.

Loomis said he and his A&B co-workers make a point of shopping with their children for the adopted family to teach them generosity toward others. “;It's an important part of the whole thing.”;

Employees are also bringing in hand-me-down clothes, toys and other items from home.

“;It sets a nice tone for Christmas and it's a way to help out other people. It puts a better perspective on Christmas,”; he said.

The Community Clearinghouse will also be getting a bit of help playing Santa with the donation of a used cargo van from American Savings Bank. The van will be used to deliver presents to adopted families, according to Laurie Komatsu, bank spokeswoman. The bank is also donating a second used van and three company vehicles to other nonprofits.