Matson is a shipping company. A good one, as most people know, that is critical to the well-being of this island.
But what most people may not know about Matson is its generosity and the impact that generosity has on Kauai.
Consider this: In 2018, Matson contributed a total of more than $3.6 million in cash and in-kind support to more than 850 charitable organizations and community efforts in all of the communities it serves.
In Hawaii, its contributions totaled $1.5 million, including $480,000 of in-kind support, which benefited more than 400 local organizations, many of those on Kauai.
Since 2012, Matson has invested more than $17 million in its communities.
Where it has a significant impact is in in-kind contributions. That’s often a donation most of us don’t know about, but a donation that makes a big difference. They do things like provide free or discounted service to Operation Christmas Child in helping ship their shoeboxes filled with gifts for children overseas. They have been doing that for several years without once seeking credit. Matson is not one that goes around spotlighting its contributions.
There’s much more:
w Providing temporary cold storage for fundraising fairs and carnivals, or permanent storage for sports or firefighting equipment;
w Moving a container full of furnishings and supplies for a new public charter school, of almost-new donated fitness equipment for the YMCA, of recovered discarded fishing nets now no longer a hazard to marine life;
w Relocating recyclable materials destined for new uses, providing feed for cattle urgently moved away from lava, and breathing masks and building materials for the same purpose;
w Moving disaster-relief equipment and supplies in response to fires, cyclones and typhoons.
The number of Kauai recipients of Matson’s donations is long, and includes the American Cancer Society, Kauai Veterans Council, The Salvation Army, Kauai United Way and the Surfrider Foundation. Ask any of these groups how Matson has stepped up.
As Matson Chairman and CEO Matt Cox says in the company’s annual report: “Matston employees are deeply involved in their communities, committing personal time and financial support to many charities and community efforts throughout our network. Our employees also help direct our corporate giving through service on our regional Giving Committees and through Matson’s matching-gift programs.”
Matson doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being far more than a shipping company. It is a strong partner with a base of resources and workforce that, yes, delivers goods that are needed here, but also delivers, for free, plenty of good will and aloha.
This is an island where businesses are often asked to give, and they do. Matson can stand proudly with them.