A Hui Hou fund for sugar workers still in need of cash

The Maui News

PUUNENE — The A Hui Hou Fund, developed to provide emergency assistance to Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. workers losing their jobs, has raised around $44,000 and has helped its first family.

But the volunteer organization’s leader, Alice Lee, said the fund is still far from its goal of $300,000.

“We still could use more,” Lee said after the HC&S last haul program on Monday at the Puunene Mill.

With the help of the Maui United Way, which is processing applications for the assistance, the fundraising effort put together by Maui residents is seeking money through donations, as well as sales of commemorative T-shirts, hats, magnets and stickers. The shirts and hats are $20. There are photo prints of the mill and life on the sugar plantation on sale for $25 to $40.

Lee reported that the fund has helped one HC&S family. She said the worker did not have many years at the plantation and did not garner the amount of severance pay longer term workers received.

The organization helped pay the family’s $1,100 a month rent. A counselor for the program also assisted the family in deferring two car payments through the holidays.

The commemorative items are sold at Maui Thing in Wailuku and during First Friday in Wailuku in a shop next to Maui Thing, Lee said.

For more information, go to www.mauiunitedway.org, where donations also can be made.

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