The new face of MOC
Grant Sullivan came to Molokai to start a new chapter in his life. He wants the Molokai Occupational Center (MOC) to start a new chapter too.
A jovial ex-Southerner in Aloha wear, Sullivan previously served 18 years as a pastor and missionary for the United Methodist Church. He began serving as director of the MOC in the beginning of September. Now the MOC is ready to serve you the community, Sullivan said, and he wants to get the word out.
The MOC is a non-profit rehabilitation center, the only of its kind on the island. It employs persons who are mentally, physically and/or economically challenged. The community then hires the MOC clients as contractors for services like laundry and yard work. Molokai Shores, for example, uses the MOC for its laundry service, and all island parks are maintained by MOC clients.
Getting the word out will help build these existing programs, Sullivan said. “Our services are available not just for commercial but also private customers. If somebody had a few condos or even a B&B, we could get their laundry done.”
Lesser-known existing programs include a carwash and vacuum service for $10 for most cars, a food bank open to the community, a thrift store “good for treasure hunting” and a nursery of native Hawaiian plants for sale. All of these are at the MOC building, up the hill under the hospital in Kaunakakai.
The first program Sullivan wants to expand is for elderly care. Through the State of Hawaii Medicaid Waiver Personal Assistant program, a person can hire MOC clients to assist an elderly relative in daily tasks or socialization. He is also setting up an online consignment shop to be run by MOC members. “Someone could sell online what otherwise would be just given or thrown away,” Sullivan said.
Volunteer help is still needed with some programs, especially the carwash, Sullivan said. “Sometimes our volunteers become our best hired employees.” The board of directors also is welcoming new members.
Sullivan’s path to Molokai was a deliberate, but he found the MOC on accident. After visiting Molokai a year and a half ago, he knew this would be the place he would relocate and start that new chapter of his life. He moved in this July without a specific idea for where he would work. “Rather than come here with a notion, my plan was to come and see where I was needed.”
He had a vague idea of possibly creating a self-sufficient non-profit that would employ those in need with services the community required. He was exited to learn the MOC already existed with that mission. When he found out the director position was open he knew it was a match, applied for the job, and began work soon after.
I t couldn’t have worked out better, said Sullivan. “I really feel that this is what I was called here for.”