KEKAHA — Kekaha Credit Union, a division of Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, is offering members a chance to participate in a statewide drawing of 100 Hawai‘i Restaurant Holiday Cards with a value of $200 each.
The cards will be given away via a random drawing for members whose livelihoods have been affected by the ongoing pandemic.
Many of APFCU’s members were affected by furloughs, reduced work hours, or pay because of COVID-19, and one KCU member, Alejandro Magno III from Kaumakani, is grateful for the chance to apply.
“I would like to thank the credit union for giving us this opportunity during these hard times,” Magno said.
“It’s good for the people who have been affected by the virus and it’s going to provide great help to the community. If I get the chance to receive a restaurant card, it would help me be able to feed my family.”
Magno said if he is a winner, he will use the card at local restaurants to help support small businesses. He said he understands their struggles because he was laid off from his job during the pandemic.
KCU Branch Manager Ursuline Munar said her credit union has about 2,000 members. Aloha Pacific FCU has over 63,000 members statewide.
“Over 1,000 applications, including both Aloha Pacific FCU and KCU members, have been received since we launched the program on Dec. 1, which is a reflection of the community need,” Munar said.
According to Munar, everyone on the Westside is considered family.
“The Westside community including my hometown of Kekaha is struggling with the effects of the pandemic,” Munar said. “We know this because we are a close-knit community. Our members are also our family and close friends. They share with us their personal stories and struggles when they visit the branch and when we see them in the neighborhood.”
The President and CEO of APFCU, Vince Otsuka, APFCU president and CEO, points to the importance of helping the credit union’s members first hand.
“For many, this is the first time they’ve faced such hardship, so we want to do our part to help our members,” said Otsuka.
Members in need are asked to fill out an online form at alohapacific.com or kekahacu.com by Dec. 31. Those who do not have online access can fill out a paper form at a branch.
“The 100 gift cards will be drawn from this pool of applicants, and the recipients will be notified by email or phone in early January. “The added benefit of these cards is that we’re helping the restaurant industry, too,” Otsuka said.
The cards can be used at Hawai‘i restaurants, eateries, bakeries and food caterers that accept debit MasterCard through March 31, 2021. Recipients who do not live in Hawai‘i will be provided an alternative $200 gift card.
Stephanie Shinno, features, education, business and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com.