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Wailuku resident Karen Motooka, aka “ReStore Karen,” is the donation procurement ambassador at Habitat for Humanity Maui’s ReStore. SARAH RUPPENTHAL images

Motooka simply cannot pinpoint exactly when she got the nickname, but she’s delighted it caught.

Motooka is the donation procurement ambassador at Habitat for Humanity Maui’s ReStore in Waikuku, a nonprofit dwelling enhancement retailer and donation centre that sells new and gently utilised creating materials and household items.

It’s a acquire-win all close to: At the ReStore, prospects can invest in things priced appreciably beneath retail price, understanding the proceeds will help Habitat for Humanity Maui build, renovate or maintenance houses in Maui County. On leading of that, people and firms can donate family objects, leftover setting up supplies or overstocked, discontinued merchandise figuring out they are diverting usable elements from the landfill.

Motooka has been at the ReStore considering that its opening in 2005 at its very first site, the previous TK Supermarket in Wailuku. Any one who is aware her would concur she was a ideal in good shape for the task. A self-proclaimed “garage sale queen,” Motooka has skillfully structured her share of revenue in garages, driveways and front yards around the yrs, both for herself and other individuals. So when she figured out Habitat for Humanity Maui was preparing to open up a shop that would sell a vast-ranging assortment of donated objects — primarily, an countless garage sale — she seized an chance to do the job there.

As one particular of Habitat for Humanity Maui’s longest-serving workers, Karen Motooka takes each individual option to share the nonprofit’s mission and achievements with other folks. To date, the organization has designed or renovated 144 households in Maui County and has provided housing to much more than 500 persons.

Sixteen yrs later, she claims the ReStore, now located on Decrease Most important Road in Wailuku, still ticks all the containers. Wonderful prospects? Check. A likelihood to use her garage-sale savvy each and every working day? Test. Staying a aspect of an business that changes life? Check.

In addition to helping prospects pick out the excellent lights fixture or identify the inswing of an inside doorway, Motooka usually teaches them about the nonprofit behind the ReStore.

“Many individuals know about the ReStore, but really don’t know what Habitat for Humanity does,” she claimed.

Because it grew to become an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Worldwide in 1997, Habitat for Humanity Maui has created or renovated 144 homes in Maui County, providing housing for additional than 500 people today. The nonprofit delivers a selection of housing systems to candidates who meet up with Habitat for Humanity Maui tips. By way of its homeownership program, it sells residences to very low-money people — all those who fall within just 25 to 80 per cent of the Maui County space median revenue — at a zero-curiosity and no-profit basis. It also gives aid to competent home owners in will need of important repairs and retrofits by means of its “Brush with Kindness” dwelling preservation plan. And not long ago, Habitat for Humanity Maui launched a Maui County Office environment on Growing older grant-funded program for qualifying senior or disabled property owners in will need of basic safety-related repairs, retrofits or household modifications. Security upgrades, these types of as tub-to-shower conversions, window replacements and the installation of get bars, railings and nonslip flooring, are done at no value to the home owner.

No make any difference the plan or job, Habitat for Humanity Maui is effective towards a one aim: to offer power, steadiness and self-reliance via shelter.

You can aid the nonprofit accomplish that purpose by volunteering to assistance establish, renovate or fix properties. No building skills? No difficulty. Training is offered, so all you will need is a constructive attitude and a willingness to learn. You can also just take element in public recognition occasions like the nonprofit’s once-a-year Make-a-Thon fundraiser and International Girls Establish 7 days situations. (Motooka has participated in the two.)

Volunteers are also essential at the ReStore. Volunteers arrive from all walks of lifetime and it’s a entertaining, versatile and fulfilling gig. And bonus: You get to operate with Motooka.

Habitat for Humanity Maui’s ReStore is positioned at 1162 Lower Primary St. in Wailuku and is open up 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday as a result of Saturday. Donations are accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only. Particular things can not be recognized. Pickup provider is readily available. For a lot more information or to program an appointment, contact 242-1140 or e-mail

To discover more about Habitat for Humanity Maui and its systems or to inquire about donor or volunteer chances, take a look at or contact 242-1140.

* Sarah Ruppenthal is a Maui-centered writer. Do you have an attention-grabbing neighbor? Inform us about them at Neighbors and “The State of Aloha,” written by Ben Lowenthal, alternate Fridays.


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