WAILUKU - Maui's nonprofit community members turned out Monday to ask the council Budget and Finance Committee to support their programs, hoping to retain - or gain - a slice of the funding proposed for county grants.
Mayor Alan Arakawa has requested about $24 million for nonprofit grants in fiscal year 2013, about the same amount budgeted for this year. The funds would represent around 4 percent of his proposed $558.2 million annual budget.
Marie Thomas of Hale Kau Kau said her organization was expecting to serve about 57,000 meals to the needy this year and as many as 63,000 in the year to come. The program received a $60,000 grant this year.
"We haven't asked for an increase, but we hope you'll be able to help us in the same manner you did last year," she said.
Rebecca Woods reminded council members of the numerous services her organization, Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, provides to the homeless.
"We couldn't do it without you," the executive director said, asking for continued financial support.
Jani Sheppard of Maui Family Support Services said that the nonprofit's Early Head Start program offered services to pregnant women and families with children under 36 months, to prevent child abuse and neglect.
The county's $63,000 helps leverage a $1.3 million federal grant, she noted, and the program also receives funding from other sources.
"The county is a partner in helping us puzzle the pieces together to serve families in our community," she said.
Rhiannon Chandler of Community Work Day said her group was requesting a slight increase in its grant. The environmental group had increased its staff with a state grant but now was facing the loss of that grant, she said.
"We have worked hard to accomplish more with less money," she said.
Not everyone was asking for more.
Keiki Kokua Executive Director Lisa Morrison noted that a grant from the county had allowed her group to open its Haiku thrift store several years ago. Now the organization that provides services to foster and adoptive families has updated its financial plans to obtain more of its funding from thrift store revenue, she said.
"We have reduced our request we're making from the county," she said.
That impressed Council Member Don Couch.
"Thank you for requesting a decrease," he said. "You're one of - you're the only one, actually."
* Ilima Loomis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.