It was a bit of an ego blow yet ultimately inspiring to read "New organization needed to keep island clean" (Letters, Nov. 27).
As the executive director of Community Work Day-Malama Maui Nui, I like to think we are what the letter writer proposes - an organization with a 20-year history of cleaning the aina and protecting its resources. CWD organizes litter pickups, marine debris cleanups, invasive species removal, native planting, graffiti removal and recycling events throughout all of Maui Nui.
What the letter writer sees in Kihei justifies CWD's existence. But even with an organization in place, she is right - we cannot do this alone. I call on the very residents who benefit from a cleaner environment to malama their communities, take responsibility for their actions and produce the change they desire for sustainable living.
Our next event will serve the south side on Jan. 4 (location and time to be announced). Our monthly Malama 'Aina Recycling event provides a responsible place to drop off household items, batteries, appliances, scrap metal, etc., to be reused or recycled through our various partners.
In the meantime, I welcome the letter writer and other motivated community members to arrange their own cleanups. We have many volunteers who gather their families, friends, co-workers and neighbors to remove litter from their area of choice. Just give us a call at 877-2524 and we will help people make that change they want to see.
John P. de Jesus
Community Work Day-Malama Maui Nui