On Saturday Habitat for Humanity hosted its fourth annual Hawaii-wide Build-a-thon. Nearly 40 Molokai volunteers gathered at the site of the Haliniak-Lloyd’s property in Kalamaula to begin building the family’s new home.
“This is a great way to help someone out and it feels good to do it,” volunteer Steve Garnin said, “especially when you have the skills to share.” Garnin is also the Build-a-thon supervisor.
Men and women strapped on tool belts and picked up hammers to spend the day working side-by-side under the hot sun. Despite the hard labor the crew maintained a positive attitude, assisting each other throughout the day.
At noon the workers took a break to sit in the shade and enjoy a tasty lunch prepared by Collette Machado and others who brought potluck offerings. Jean Han, executive director of Molokai Habitat for Humanity, thanked everyone for coming and giving their time and energy to help a neighbor in need. General Growth Properties, the event’s main sponsor, donated a $25 mall gift certificate, which was drawn by volunteers. The winning volunteer generously handed his prize over to the new homeowners. With a lot of work ahead, volunteers returned to continue working on the project.
Garnin said he was very pleased with the amount of volunteers who turned out for the day. Many of them were experienced in carpentry and their competence allowed for the crew to move along at a swift pace. By the end of the afternoon the wall frames were finished with plywood mounted, leaving the Haliniak-Lloyd family several steps closer to living in their new home.
“This is not about titles and positions,” councilmember Danny Mateo said. “This is about helping your neighbors.” Mateo stopped by to show his support and took the chance to commend volunteers. “They could be relaxing or they could be at the beach, and instead they are here, helping their neighbor’s dream come true,” he said.
Gayla Haliniak-Lloyd, the new homeowner, also expressed her appreciation for all who have helped her through this process, saying that she has good neighbors here in Molokai. She said she plans to throw a big house warming party and invite everyone to come celebrate with her.
This is the eleventh house built by Molokai Habitat. Those interested in having a home built by Molokai Habitat are encouraged apply. MHH Board President Fely Borden said that if applicants meet the qualifications there are plenty of financial options available to fund the project. This allows the new homeowners to obtain an interest free mortgage that is usually paid off in just ten years.
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