Hawaii Life Maui feeds the Homeless in Wailuku and West Maui

The Hawaii Life Maui Team has been doing quarterly dinners at the homeless shelter in Wailuku, Ka Hale A Ke Ola, since November of 2014. Our team has provided dinners of chicken, veggies, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy along with dessert (usually Kristina's Texas sheet cake) at the shelter since then. Sometimes I think we should change the menu, but it's such a hit that I'm told we should leave it the same.

This is a way we give to the community with very little money. It always amazes me that we can feed 60-70 people for under $150. We usually bring toiletries for the residents as well (Shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc.). I'm not even sure how we agreed to start this last year, but once we did the first one, it was easy to commit.

Tomorrow, 12/1, will be our first West Maui Shelter Dinner, feeding 40-50. We have committed to doing each shelter every other month, so we will do West Maui on the even months and Wailuku on the odd months. The menu will be the same and while that may seem mundane to us, the residents only get our menu when we come so it's wonderful to them.

We arrive at 4-4:30 and are pau by 7 (including us eating dinner too) so for less than $200 and 3 hours of time, we are making a difference. We bring the kids so that they can help out and learn the importance of reaching out and helping others. The clients are very appreciative as well. We are blessed that the Maui Team is great about participating. Some give money, some give time and both are needed to make this work.

Every island has a shelter (I think), so this is something that I would love to see expanded throughout the state. It's fun and rewarding and easy to do!

Mary K is also putting together holiday packages for the clients that will include toiletries as well as granola bars, juice or water and more in bags being decorated by Morgan Lee and her friends.

Malama Ka’aina

Next Hawaii Life Hawaiian Sandalwood Tree Planting Day is Friday, November 13th! It is not just about planting trees, it is about relationshipping with the land.

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Our Hawaii Life Big Island Community Action Group’s participation in the Sandalwood Reforestation Project on the slopes of Mauna Kea is strong and ongoing. November will be month three of our participation and we are making a difference. We have helped plant over 350 sandalwood trees in the last couple months! It is not only educational, it is fun and very rewarding. We were rewarded last month by a hawaiian hawk flying overhead and to be accompanied by pueo throughout the day!

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Giving to the land in this way has been a very spiritual experience for me personally; it brings me joy, gives me a sense of purpose, and contributes to my genuine care for the land. As Realtors, we develop a relationship with the land, whether we are aware of it or not, and it is important to nurture and understand that relationship. Knowing that I am contributing to the health and longevity of this precious island home, gives my “job” much more meaning.

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I was recently accused of having a lack of respect for the land simply because I am a Realtor. That accusation struck a strong cord in my body and made me feel physically ill! This land raised me, continues to support me, and I have utmost respect and appreciation for my island home. I may not have Hawaiian blood, but my love for this island runs deep in my soul. To have someone make that assumption about me because of my job was not okay. My initial reaction was the desire lash out in return, but rather, I consulted with this precious land and it confirmed, more than ever before, that my core values are in line with the notion of Malama Ka ‘Aina, meaning to care for and live in harmony with the land. By simply taking care of and respecting the land, it will sustain life, just as it has mine. This is a straightforward relationship and has been honored for thousands of years, since the Polynesians followed the stars to the shores of Hawai'i. Part of Malama Ka `Aina is everyone doing their share, no matter how big or how small. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is one great example. Now it’s your turn: What do you do to take care of the land?

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Hawaii Life Community Action Event - Reforestation Project

Aloha Big Island, let's hui up and give some love, life and sweat back to the land that supports us!

Here is a fantastic opportunity to give aloha and live your Hawaii life by participating in the re-growth project of the sandalwood tree forests on the slopes of Mauna Kea. In Hawaiian, the sandalwood tree is known as, I’liahi, "the tree of life." Here is a sweet (and very short) story about this tree of life.

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Our Hawaii Life's, Kalani Silva, is a board member and officer of the non-profit organization, Advanced Aloha, and they have partnered with the Hawaiian Reforestation Program to further help with the cause and the awareness. Part of Kalani's involvement is to organize volunteer groups to plant sandalwood trees on Mauna Kea, and when he brought this to my attention, I got really excited. This is what it's all about! Groups of volunteers travel to the mountain on a regular basis for this ongoing project and we at Hawaii Life have been invited to participate. To me, it is an honor, and I said yes! I would love to see this as a recurring group event for Hawaii Life participants on a monthly, quarterly or even bi-annual basis.

Kalani has secured our first opportunity to participate in this project, Friday, September 4th. We meet at the Mauna Kea Recreation Area (where the cabins are) at 8:30am. We need as many 4 wheel drive vehicles as possible, so if get, bring 'em! Everyone car pools in the 4 wheel drive vehicles to the mountain cabin where we plant. If you don't have 4 wheel drive, your vehicle will stay at the park. We will plant for approx. 4 hours then head back! Who's in?? I am! Please let me know if you will be participating, and if so, please tell me your t-shirt size.

Finally, I would like to announce that Kalani Silva and Bruce Kekuewa have volunteered to head a Hawaii Life Community Action Group for the Big Island! A BIG MAHALO to both of them! This community action group will be one that volunteers at all kinds of events throughout the year and across the island reforestation projects, beach clean ups, food drives, fundraisers, etc. We even have some really cool "Hawaii Life Community Action Group" t-shirts being made, designed by our brilliant HL create department!

Please send your ideas, thoughts, and any questions to me.  Mahalo plenty!