Last month employees of the Makena Golf and Beach Club participated in a Holiday Gift Program by purchasing and donating wrapped presents for 14 mothers and 24 children at local nonprofit Malama Family Recovery Center to open on Christmas morning.
Malama provides caring, holistic substance abuse treatment to women and children so families can live safe, independent and healthy lives. It is Maui’s only women-specific addiction treatment center and the only place on the island where babies and young children can live with their mothers in treatment.
Amy Petersen, Makena Golf and Beach Club’s Director of Human Resources and tri-agency Board Member, spearheaded the project. “Our team has a long tradition of generously giving during the holiday season, and we wanted to support the mothers seeking treatment at Malama by giving them an opportunity to enjoy this special time with their families as much as we do,” said Petersen. Each employee chose a client at Malama and purchased gifts based on the age and genders of the mother’s child/children.
Along with the presents, employees also donated money so mothers can purchase baby/child-related items throughout the year such as diapers, wipes and baby food. “Almost 100% of our clients are low income level and between 60% and 70% have an annual income of less than $5,000, so purchasing Christmas gifts, even just one, is impossible for most of the women at Malama,” said Frances Duberstein, Malama Development Coordinator. “The simple act of giving your child a wrapped present and watching them open it is a valuable family bonding opportunity and truly makes our clients feel better about themselves as individuals and as mothers, which is an important part of the recovery process.”