Habitat for Humanity Leeward Oahu had a very busy year for our small affiliate! We had over 1,000 volunteers helping us build Habitat homes. We worked alongside our Habitat family members from the Kaliko Family, Olsen Family, and the Harkangel Richards Family as we helped them build their decent and affordable home; something that has been out of reach for these families for such a long time.
For Myrah Kaliko, after receiving the keys to her Habitat home in October, she was able to spend the Holidays in her two-bedroom, one-bath home, welcoming her kids and grandchildren.
We continue to work on the Olsen Family home. Since the Ground Breaking Ceremony on October 21st, volunteers have already framed the outside of the house and expect to finish framing the interior walls over the next two weeks. A huge thank you to the 728th Military Police Battalion for pledging to send volunteers every Saturday for the length of the build! In addition, Kalaeloa Rental Homes brings a group volunteers every 2nd Saturday
The Harkangel Richards rehab project is nearing completion and we expect the project to be complete by March! We are finishing up the interior of the home with installing the last of the shelving and flooring. The next challenge is putting in the driveway and carport.
Feeding our hardworking volunteers is something we are dedicated to doing every Saturday. We are fortunate to have the support of Oahu’s National Association of Women in Construction who have stepped-up to bring volunteer lunches every 2nd Saturday! We were also blessed with a $3,000 grant from the Honolulu Board of Realtors to provide lunch for volunteers. These funds will go a long way to help ease our weekly expenses.
Rain or shine, we have a core group of volunteers that lead our build projects every Saturday. We would like to give a special thank you to: David Chan, Chuck Finney, Ron Condon, George Stibbard, John Ayat, Art Thompson, Mario Agustin, and Jennifer Cleveland.
New this year, we also developed a partnership with the Papa Ho’ike Kuleana (Accountability) Program. Teens in the Family Court system not only volunteered community service hours at the build sites but also learned valuable construction skills from construction mentors. We were fortunate enough to receive grant funding from the Cooke Foundation to purchase safety equipment for these participants. We look forward to continuing this program into 2018!
The Cooke Foundation and the McInerny Foundation also made possible the purchase of a construction trailer. Thanks to these foundations, we are able to provide ease of transport of construction equipment to multiple build sites and ensure construction equipment is quickly secured at the beginning and end of each build day.
All of this home building is supported by our discount home improvement store, the ReStore. Many people donated items to our ReStore and then resold to community members at 50-75% off of retail prices. This year we implemented the ReStore rewards program allowing customers to receive a monthly email containing coupons, highlights upcoming sales, and gives information on new items. >>Sign-up here
New at the ReStore in 2017, we held 6 How-To Workshops with the specific goal to enable women to learn basic construction skills. The highlight was the “Go Green Workshop, Building Raised Garden Beds” in which volunteers built raised garden beds for Leeward Habitat homeowners. These workshops not only taught safe use of power tools and carpentry basics, it also provided Habitat homeowners with raised garden beds to be installed in 2018. All of this was made possible thanks to the Atherton Family Foundation.
Finally, we have had the support of so many wonderful organizations and groups that have donated their time, money, and expertise (click to view all our wonderful partners, and please thank them!). This year is also marked a new way businesses and individuals can support us other than swinging a hammer, our Golf Classic. We are still accepting sponsorships and team registrations for the March 16, 2018 tournament – but please, also thank the many wonderful sponsors who are supporting us: >>Register today & more info
We are happy to close this message with the feel good story of the year; the Victor family who made their final payment on their Habitat house! They went through the entire process of putting sweat equity into building their Habitat home, helped others build their homes, paid their affordable monthly mortgage payment, and now after 19 years, they have paid off their mortgage!