Volunteers helped get Waimea Canyon Intermediate School ready for its students this upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
With the help of Hawaiian Airlines’ community outreach group, Team Kōkua, and partners, Waimea Canyon completed landscaping work, classroom prep, student device cleaning and set-up and painting.
“Our state and our business have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the resiliency and community spirit of our employees through Team Kōkua demonstrate again that they are our greatest asset. They just get it done,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram. “Schools are a vital support to our working families and we’re happy to do what we can to help bring them back.”
The volunteers did work at two other schools on O‘ahu and have projects planned for schools, one on O‘ahu and the other on Maui, this month. For the three projects completed thus far, Team Kōkua brought 221 volunteers who provided 1,064 hours of assistance, along with 55 hours provided by local artists.
“Hawaiian Airlines has been a valuable partner to the Department during this global health crisis and a tremendous supporter of our school communities. The time and resources donated by the company and its employees will have a lasting impact on our students, faculty and staff. We appreciate their willingness to give even as they dealt with the personal and professional impacts of this situation,” added Hawaiʻi Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.
The initiative came together in the spring after school campuses were closed during the early days of the pandemic and the state’s “safer at home” orders, when students and teachers began distance learning after spring break. Many Hawaiian Airlines employees were on voluntary furlough due to a significantly decreased flying schedule and the company sought opportunities to extend more kōkua into its communities. In addition to working with Lanakila Meals on Wheels and the Hawaii Foodbank, an offer to help the schools was presented to Hawaiʻi DOE leadership, who shared it with principals.
To participate in the Kōkua Our Schools program, principals are encouraged to contact Dolly Wong in the DOE Community Engagement Branch.