County of Maui announces first 'Volunteer Hero'

Lillian Murakami
Lillian Murakami

WAILUKU, Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) - The County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns' Volunteer Center announced its first "Volunteer Hero," Lillian Murakami, for her dedication and selfless giving to Hale Makua Wailuku.

The Wailuku resident began volunteering 13 years ago when her mother became a resident at Hale Makua.  After her mother passed away, Lillian continued to visit and currently volunteers 7 days per week, 6-8 hours a day.

She assists residents with choosing their meals for the week, escorting them to the dining area, serving meals, providing 1 to 1 visits and just "talking story" with them.

"Lillian is the core of the Hale Makua Wailuku volunteers, shared Paula Iiams, Director of Volunteer Services.  The biggest thing she does to help Hale Makua is battle the three plagues of our residents: loneliness, boredom and helplessness."

The active senior has been called a "road runner" who is considered a great asset to residents, families and staff at the senior care facility.

"Hale Makua is like family to me and it makes me feel good," Murakami said. "I encourage all retirees to volunteer. It keeps you busy and young."

Hale Makua Health Services welcomes volunteers who are compassionate and understanding. Current volunteer needs include individuals able to perform office work, visit with patients, and become certified to feed patients. Certified feeding training is available along with other training options.  For more information, call Hale Makua at 873-6616.

The Volunteer Hero Program is a pilot project that highlights outstanding volunteers throughout the year on the County web site and through local media. The program recognizes individuals for their outstanding service and commitment to the community.

To nominate a volunteer as a Volunteer Hero, contact Wendy Stebbins at or (808) 270-7150. For more information about volunteering in Maui County, visit

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