Twenty five Hawaii credit unions have now signed on to a statewide disaster relief effort, “Aloha for Japan,” led by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and demonstrating again that Hawaii feels the impact of the catastrophe more than any other state.
Under participation in Aloha for Japan, the CUs joining major banks have agreed to serve as collection points for donations, encourage members and employees to contribute, and match donations on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Since the effort by the governor, county leaders and business groups began on March 16, more than $1 million has been raised, said Aloha for Japan.
“The Japanese government currently estimates over 10,000 deaths, 17,000 still missing, and damages of up to $309 billion, making this the world’s most costly natural disaster,” said an Aloha notice circulated Tuesday by the Hawaii Credit Union League.
The Aloha notice went on to add that “the aftermath of the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan has devastated our friends and partners across the Pacific and all of us in Hawaii will be impacted either directly or indirectly by this terrible tragedy.”
In his message to members, Dennis Tanimoto, president/CEO of the league, noted that the funds raised by Aloha for Japan will be donated to the American Red Cross-Hawaii State Chapter and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii.
Tanimoto enclosed documents from the Red Cross outlining the clear evidence of the need for relief in grief-stricken Japan as supporting Aloha would represent “no stronger proof of the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people.’”