Bank Employees Just Being Neighborly At Salvation Army

Wednesday - September 01, 2010
By MidWeek Staff
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East Oahu residents Jon Murakami, a bank vice president, and Lisa Goo, a teller, paint a wall Aug. 21 at the Salvation Army Family Treatment Services in Kaimuki as part of Bank of Hawaii employees’ fifth annual Community Service Day. Photo by Anthony Consillio.

Nearly 100 Bank of Hawaii employees got their hands dirty Aug. 21 to paint housing units and clean up the grounds at Salvation Army Family Treatment Services in Kaimuki.

In addition to sweat hours, the volunteers donated more than $20,000 worth of appraised artwork to be displayed at the facility. One piece, a tapestry called “Hawaii” by master artist Jay Wilson, was commissioned by BOH and is appraised at $18,000.

“It was touching to see everyone here working for the common goal of making our facilities more welcoming and nurturing for the women and children who live here,” said Capt. Fred Rasmussen, SA divisional secretary for business and finance. “We commend Bank of Hawaii’s commitment to giving, and we thank each and every volunteer who generously spent time with us today.”

Among the hard workers were senior vice president and East Oahu regional manager Jon Murakami and Lisa Goo, a teller at the Kaimuki branch. The two local residents are old pros at community service, both going above and beyond the call to serve the needy.

“Being born and raised on an island, you understand the value of relationships and what a small place Hawaii really is,” said Murakami, who grew up in Aina Haina and now lives in Hawaii Kai with his wife and two daughters. As part of the 2010 Community Service Day, the Kalani graduate helped coordinate volunteers and temporary child care for family treatment residents so they could attend the free BOH Money Seminar.

“Financial education is one of the meaningful ways we provide support to the community, giving people the skills and tools they need to improve their lives,” he said, noting that his favorite part of the day was hearing feedback from the young mothers who attended. “(They) asked a lot of good, thoughtful questions.”

Goo recently was recognized for her generosity as the top member of BOH’s employee volunteer program. Since 2006, she has given more than 120 hours to it, escorting athletes at Special Olympics, cleaning up Magic Island, ringing bells at holiday time and more. “I always wanted to give back but couldn’t when my children were young,” said Goo, whose three children are now 22, 19 and 17, respectively. “I’m glad I work for a company that gives me the chance to make a difference.”

Goo, also a Kalani High graduate, worked the first shift at the service day and painted building walls. She also is considering volunteering with the Red Cross on her own time.

“As an individual, helping out and giving back to others is very important to me. (And) it does not have to be in my own community. (Volunteering) gives me a sense of peace due to the fact that I was once a recipient of others helping me when I was a child. It’s my own karma.”


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