It started with a callout on a private Facebook group page, titled HAL Flight Attendant Mamas, where, on a typical day, "FA mamas and mamas-to-be" swap tips and answer questions about all things related to childcare. But on Aug. 13, Maui flight attendant Anna Sable posted an urgent request for baby supplies after the island's only Walmart, Costco and Target reported supply shortages following the West Maui wildfires.
The next day, flight attendants Erika Ledesma and Curtis Kawamura, a member of the group (and stay-at-home parent), met Sable – who had flown to Honolulu - and several other Oʻahu teammembers at Hawaiian’s cargo facility with dozens of boxes of baby items, including food, formula, wipes and diapers. Leveraging Hawaiian’s employee shipping program, the group sent roughly 500 pounds of items to families in need. Sable took the return flight to Kahului to ensure immediate delivery to local families.
"We needed to get these items to Maui right away because some of the families, they couldn't wait any longer," Kawamura said. "With limited supplies available on the island, there are families outside of West Maui that are in need too, and we know that through Anna the supplies will be delivered directly to those requesting it."
Since Sunday, Hawaiian’s cargo team has accepted approximately 3,900 pounds of employee shipments, with the most common items being baby essentials, dry and canned food items, clothing, toiletries and empty gas cans.
Kawamura added, "There are so many of our fellow employees who have been affected in Maui, and working for Hawaiian has been a huge blessing during this time with many of us using our benefits to travel back and forth to volunteer, or visit impacted family members, or ship urgent supplies. We're fortunate that we're given so many opportunities to help our fellow employees."