How an H&R Block Maui Leader’s Relentless Efforts Are Saving Lives During Tragedy
When wildfires first struck the island of Maui in Hawaii two weeks ago, Jarrin Shigemura, H&R Block’s area lead for Maui, fully dedicated himself to support not only his family, but his coworkers and the community.
He has been utilizing social media to create awareness and raise funds to support locals impacted by the ongoing tragedy – allowing him to quickly gather and deliver needed food, hygiene products, dog food, baby formula, diapers, and even personalized orders as needed for those desperately seeking specific items.
Essentials are being distributed at relief centers all over the island by Jarrin, like the War Memorial Stadium Complex, the Maui Food Bank and even to individual’s homes. He is also registered with the American Red Cross to help further aid his community.
As the fires continued to engulf property and land around Maui, the H&R Block office in Lahaina was destroyed. Jarrin sprung into action to confirm the safety of every associate at that location. He placed phone calls and even went from shelter to shelter around Maui to find those he couldn’t reach by phone. Every H&R Block associate in the area has been accounted for, thanks to his actions.
After identifying the associates, it was apparent that many of their relatives were impacted in other areas of the island. In one instance, an associate has gathered more than ten family members in their one-bedroom apartment, desperately seeking enough resources for all of them. Upon discovering this, Jarrin immediately established a local fund, allowing H&R Block associates in the district to send money for supplies.
In an Instagram video, Jarrin said, “I will be your feet here in Maui. If you want to help, I will make sure it goes to the right places and the right people.”
Jose Prieto, a District General Manager for H&R Block praised the efforts of Jarrin and others in Maui, “My District Team exudes the spirit of ‘Better Together’ that we embody at Block. We are donating money, shipping supplies and essentials, and doing our part to help those on a remote Island that is not ‘self-sufficient’ or easily accessible.”
H&R Block is donating to the American Red Cross of Hawaii to support relief efforts and encouraging others to do the same. The company established a community impact platform in 2009 called Make Every Block Better, dedicated to giving back and bringing communities together.
“Maui – we’re going to get through this,” said Jarrin. “We are going to grieve and then we are going to heal, but I promise you we are going to heal.”
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