Maui auto dealer gives away free vans - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui auto dealer gives away free vans

Damien Farias Damien Farias
Father Jim Orsini Father Jim Orsini
Joey Gonsalves Joey Gonsalves
Saundra Gaskey Saundra Gaskey

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

LAHAINA (KHNL) - Despite current economic conditions, a Maui auto dealer gives six brand new vans to non-profit organizations.

Maui Toyota owner Damien Farias usually gives money to certain non-profits every year. But this time, he was left with more cars on his lot than he could store.

So, he decided to give vans to the people and families who needed it most.

Six vans, six organizations and one goal.

"And I just thought i'd rather give it to somebody who really needed it, rather than come up with some gimmick plan to sell cars," Farias said.

He has sold cars for more than 30 years. This he says, may have been his greatest gift to his consumers.

"So when I called them, they thought god had called, they said what a miracle, so they said if it was possible, they wanted a green one, fortunately I had a green one," he said.

St. Anthony High Cchool received one of the vans. Farias coached there back in the 70's.

"It's good to know that even though it's been a long time, he hasn't forgotten us and we certainly won't forget him," Father Jim Orsini said.

The Native Hawaiian healthcare organization, Hui No Ke Ola Pono also drove away with a van.

"We thought this couldn't be true, we never know that something like this could actually happen and now I still stay in shock," Hui No Ke Ola Pono's Joey Gonsalves said.

Farias says he chose these non-profits over others because they showed the most need for the vans.

"We are so excited, we feel so blessed to have this, with the recession, the economy with changes in medicare, healthcare overall, we've had to make some major cutbacks with our expenses and having this is so timely, so needed," Wailuku Hale Makua's Saundra Gaskey said.

Farias made his last delivery Thursday to Lunalilo Home on Oahu. The other five recipients are from Maui. They include the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, Hale Makua, Hui No Ke Ola Pono, Easter Seals and St. Anthony High School.

"I learned way back that to give is to receive and I found that the more you give, the more you receive," Farias said.

The total cost of the vans is estimated at just over $142,000.

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