KAHULUI - Another Good Samaritan has stepped up to the plate to help a Maui public school buy much-needed supplies for its teachers and school.
On Aug. 3, Upcountry Fitness donated $6,000 to Haiku Elementary School, and its faculty and staff spent the afternoon at Office Max in Kahului buying printer ink, paper, staplers, magnets, art supplies, erasers, folders, push pins and even a color printer, to name a few items.
Upcountry Fitness was inspired by Kihei businessman Bobby Baker, who last month donated $6,000 to Lokelani Intermediate School for teachers to buy supplies from Central Maui stores. Baker, the owner of Maui Sun Divers, has been purchasing supplies for the Lokelani teachers for the past five to six years.
Haiku Elementary School staff members (from left) Lisa Daly, curriculum coordinator; Deanna Kiersz, a kindergarten teacher; and Karen Figueira, primary school adjustment program staff member, go on a shopping spree Aug. 3 at Office Max in Kahului. The shopping spree was funded by a $6,000 donation from Upcountry Fitness.
JENNIFER OBERG photo
Baker was thrilled to learn about the Haiku donation and hopes that other businesses and individuals will give, too.
"Even a small amount goes a long way. If you can give $5 or $10 to help your child's teacher, please know that it will make a difference," Baker said in an announcement.
Upcountry Fitness General Manager Izaak Tyrrell said the business sends its "maximum respect" to Baker for coming up with a "brilliant idea."
"We are pleased to support Haiku School in this way. It establishes a trend for Maui businesses to help our public schools get the materials the teachers need to educate our keiki," Tyrrell said.
Haiku School Principal Bernice Takahata, who was one of the shoppers, said: "I am overwhelmed, humbled and honored that they shower us with their aloha for the keiki o ka aina! Their generosity and kindness encourage us to strive to be better than we were before!"
The donation was able to help special education teacher Cai Davis get a much-needed color printer. The one she had was barely functional, and Davis had to push the paper in one sheet at a time to get it through.
"We are so blessed," Davis said. "It is great to live in such a supportive community!"
Other Haiku school staff members who participated in the event were: Deanna Kiersz, Holly Friberg, Lisa Daly, Lisa Callaci, Sandie Alexander, Karen Figueira and Parent Community Networking Coordinator Jennifer Oberg. They also got shopping lists from other teachers.
It took more than half an hour at the store's checkout counter. The staff ended up with a receipt that was more than 10 feet long.
To see photos of the shopping spree, go online to Haiku School's Facebook page.