Ever since we started publishing news articles a few years ago, positive timeshare stories have been few and far between. While there are a few good wins for timeshare owners here and there, we can’t help but notice that there just isn’t much good news to report on in the industry. There’s rarely a dull moment and keeping up with the depth of the misconduct is nearly impossible. So when we heard a Hawaiian timeshare entity donated $29K to nonprofits across the state, it was praiseworthy.
While the pandemic has not exactly been friendly to vacation owners, the less fortunate have seen their fortunes go from limited to worse. As the travel industry continues to suffer legendary losses from the fear of COVID-19, it’s good to see some reaching out to those that don’t have much, if anything at all.
Who Was Involved in COVID-19 Relief?
The Hawaiian timeshare Chapter of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) was responsible for the fundraising efforts just in time for the holiday season. They took the time to allocate specific resources and make intentional donations in their local communities. Although we’ve been rather critical of ARDA, and the simple fact PR could be playing a role, we still applaud their gesture.
Mitchell A. Imanaka, Chairman and managing principal of Imanaka Asato LLLC, willfully announced the donation. “We recognize that 2020 has been a difficult year for so many individuals, families and organizations within our communities,” he said. “We are extremely grateful to be able to help those in need and to provide this support even in a down economic year.” ARDA raised more than $5.5 million during the 2019-2020 election cycle.
Who Will Benefit From the Cash Gift in Hawaii?
The generous $29K donation will be distributed amongst the following nine local charities just before Christmas:
- Maui Food Bank is the county’s main supplier and safety net for hunger relief. In any given month, more than 32K local Hawaiian’s can be dependent on the program. A $25 donation “will provide a Holiday Meal Box for a food-insecure family.”
- “Feed My Sheep” is a mobile service program in Maui that delivers food and other supplies to different neighborhoods on a weekly basis. Volunteers and those in need can easily fill out online forms to participate in the program.
- The Institute for Human Services (IHS) will also receive a portion of the donation. They’re the oldest, largest and most comprehensive human services agency in Hawaii that exclusively specializes in ending and preventing homelessness.
- The Kona Hospital Foundation was created to raise funds that would improve the Kona Community’s Hospital. Donations go towards expanded services, specialties, enhances facilities, and medical technology on the Hawaiian island.
- The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants life-changing wishes for critically ill children and families. They’ve been helping the community for the past 40 years in O’ahu and will be working in conjunction with the IHS.
- The Waikīikī Community Center is a facility that provides wellness services for the Keiki childrens and Kupuna aging communities. They believe all kids deserve access to quality early education and their goal is to promote lifestyles that keep seniors (and all members) engaged physically, mentally and socially.
- The Ho’ea training program in O’ahu is geared towards equipping youth and young adults (or any age for that matter) with a wide array of life skills. These can include tracking, wilderness survival, nature awareness, cultural appreciation and hunting amongst other things.
- The Pacific Buddhist Academy is the first Shin Buddhist high school to open outside of Japan. Also located in O’ahu, it is the first accredited Buddhist high school in the U.S., opening 65 years after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
- The Boys and Girls Club of Kaua’i was developed to provide a safe environment for children to grow in while they’re nurturing character development. The creative space also helps them foster hope and opportunities while building life-enhancing skills.
Is Hawaii’s Tourism Market Secure?
Over the past few years, Hawaiian timeshare units have accounted for roughly 13% of the state’s inventory for visitor lodging. In the past, these resorts and condos have provided locals with thousands of jobs – but not anymore. As the pandemic continues to leave people stranded in tourist heavy locations across the globe, donations like this can go a long way.
At the same time, the hospitality industry may not always be able to support local initiatives – no matter their motive. So let’s hope positive relief becomes more common as the lockdowns continue to loom in Hawaii amongst other things.