Ellen first joined Malama Maui Nui for their annual Get The Drift and Bag It! cleanup at the Kahului Harbor. From the very beginning, Ellen was eager to make an impact and friends. While she had just moved to Maui only a few days before volunteering, she was ready to go.

Mālama Maui Nui’s mission is to educate, inspire, and empower individuals and communities to beautify and maintain Maui Nui’s environment. Thereby supporting its economy, quality of life, and unique Hawaiian culture. They focus on litter pickups, marine debris cleanups, and recycling events. MMN brings individual volunteers, local businesses, community organizations, and government agencies together to promote the environmental health of Maui County.

Right after volunteering for the first time, Ellen approached staff members to ask how she could get involved on a regular basis. Mālama Maui Nui introduced Ellen to their community cleanups program. She took the lead from there. Though she was new to our community Ellen began recruiting helping hands. She got them to join her for regular beach and park cleanups. She even became the leader of a Kihei team of volunteers!

Ellen takes the initiative in bringing people together. Throughout the craziness of 2020, she persevered and continued community cleanups. She mastered using Malama Maui Nui’s new virtual supply lending system. While serving their community, Ellen and her team of volunteers took precautions. They reduced team sizes and adhered to Maui County restrictions and guidelines. We are grateful she could help while still keeping everyone healthy.

We know that when Mālama Maui Nui can have in-person events again, Ellen will be there. She’s always making friends. Plus Ellen always ensures everyone she encounters knows they’re seen and appreciated.