Our Islands, Our Future

As the holiday season begins, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) would like to offer special thanks to all those in the Maui community, statewide, nationally and internationally, who volunteered their skills immediately after the devastating wildfires in August. Together, they are delivering resources and services to aid the affected communities.

“Non-profits, government agencies, other organizations, churches, charities, and individuals continue to address the immediate needs of the people,” said Leslie Wilkins, MEDB President and CEO. “Here at MEDB, along with State Representative Jill Tokuda, we held one of the first events that included FEMA temporary housing support, passport and license recovery, financial assistance, counseling, and everyday essential needs, while also planning for long-term recovery efforts.”

As we celebrate the rich tapestry that makes up this relief effort, Dr. Warren Sparks comes to mind. Sparks commutes from his home on Kauai to Maui providing medical assistance, at no charge, to those most affected by the fires. He is a board-certified emergency medicine and family-practice physician based on Kauai’s south shore. During the Vietnam War, Sparks was a USAF flight surgeon working on international air ambulances and at Native American tribal clinics. He plays the ukulele and dances hula, but most importantly his heart is in serving those of the community who need medical assistance and cannot afford it.

“Since the fire, I knew I would be working on Maui, so I shipped my truck over, with pallets of supplies,” said Sparks. “I work with Maui Medics two times a week and A Cup of Cold Water (ACCW) community care van once a week to aid those with medical concerns. We see people all over the island and help where it is needed.”

Deb Lynch, former president of ACCW, added, “Dr. Sparks is unbelievably generous! Everyone loves him. He has full capabilities for splints and cuts and helps people with their co-pay to get antibiotics if needed. Taking his time with each person, Dr. Sparks lifts their spirits and gives them hope. Deep caring and lovingkindness are a wonderful service and people are so thankful for him.”

Thank you to everyone who has worked continually to help our community recover. We appreciate your consideration and continued support as we navigate through this challenging time together. Leslie Wilkins, MEDB President & CEO