Saint Francis alumnus and wife turn anniversary into service for Hawaiian people

University of Saint Francis alumnus Jason Coriano (BS ’03) and his wife, Lesley, celebrated two years of marriage by working on their anniversary—sharing their love for the people of Lahaina, Hawaii, in a way they’ll never forget.

The Corianos were married on Aug. 12, 2021 in Lahaina and make regular trips there. Lesley, in fact, lived in Hawaii for 12 years before moving to San Diego, California, where the couple now live. Because of their connection, the Corianos were especially distressed by the devastation of wildfires that have claimed and upended the lives of the people of Lahaina. They had already planned to travel to Lahaina for their anniversary; they decided to change their itinerary.

“We thought, ‘Let’s not be a leech to the island and sit around at the beach,” Jason Coriano said. “Let’s do something for the people and the island that is so special to us.”

The Corianos put word out to their friends and family that they were seeking donations and supplies to help the people of Lahaina. They were adamant about using their connections to directly help people—cutting out red tape that often slows the speed in which people’s donations reach those in need of receiving the help. Within six days, the Corianos raised nearly $7,000 in donations and supplies.  Their efforts were recognized by San Diego’s Fox5 in an interview this week (pictured above).

Lesley, a flight attendant with Alaska Airlines who frequently works on flights to Maui, was able to arrange for supplies to be flown in. Jason, principal broker at Metro San Diego Realty, coordinated the donations—both physical and monetary. The Corianos flew back and forth between San Diego and Hawaii last weekend and were able to make sure the supplies reached the hands of the right people once they arrived in Maui. Clothing, toiletries and other everyday items were delivered to those people quickly. Alaska Airlines helped Lesley Coriano by transporting supplies, including one shipment of more than 500 boxes.

Once in Hawaii, the Corianos worked with private boat owners to transport camping gear including sleeping bags, cots, water, outdoor stoves and other items. The Corianos also directly helped some families they knew and others they met last weekend.

“Before we left to come back to San Diego, we still had $600 left, so we said let’s give $500 to this family we met,” Jason said. “The young girl took the gift card and said, ‘Grandma, we can get groceries now.’ Grandma started crying. It was such an incredible moment to be able to do something to help.

“There were some challenging days, and we were tired but in a rewarding sense in being able to give back,” Jason said. “It was great to be able to do something that went directly into the hands of people who need it.”

Anyone interested in contributing through the Corianos’ continued efforts can do so through Venmo (@jasoncoriano, confirmation digits 5360) or Zelle (use Coriano’s cell number of 619-665-5360). Jason Coriano can also be reached at or by calling or texting his cell phone. People who would like to purchase an Amazon item and have it shipped directly to Maui should email him to find out what is needed at that time.

Jason Coriano, originally from Merrillville, Indiana, played football for the Cougars from 1998 to 2001 and earned his bachelor’s degree in health and safety.

Courtesy photos: Jason and Lesley Coriano are interviewed by Fox5 San Diego’s Elizabeth Alvarez (top photo). Jason Coriano works on transporting supplies (bottom photo).