On Saturday, January 26, 2019, more than 120 volunteers from the Hoopili Hou student leadership conference arrived to volunteer at Kauai Habitat for Humanity’s Eleele Iluna subdivision in Eleele. Presented by the Hawaii Association of Student Life Advisors, and hosted this year by Kauai Community College, Hoopili Hou is a statewide student leadership conference that brings student leaders from colleges and universities around the state together for a weekend of learning and leading. The group worked alongside Habitat staff and homebuyers doing various stages of construction as part of a day of service in conjunction with their three-day conference. Deputy Director Milani Pimental visited with the students the previous evening to give a talk on service and the Habitat building model.
“This was the largest group of volunteers we’ve hosted at Kauai Habitat,” stated Kauai Habitat Volunteer Coordinator Caitlin Pounds. “We were so thrilled to see the students express interest in the affordable housing issues that face our island, and our homebuyers definitely appreciate all the work that can be accomplished by a group of this size.”
The students, who represented Windward Community College, Kauai Community College, Honolulu Community College, Leeward Community College, UH West Oahu, Kapiolani Community College, Chaminade University, and Windward Community College, worked on a number of different projects at the Eleele Iluna Subdivision site.
“We love having groups out on site. The help that the students provided was phenomenal and our construction staff and volunteer crew leaders were excited to work them,” said Construction Superintendent Nolan Corlett. “They completed interior painting on two lots, exterior porch painting on four lots, and insulation and exterior painting on another lot. The group also built a storage shed for tools and did extensive site clean up work.”
The Eleele Iluna Subdivision is currently building homes in Phase II of the project that will provide 107 new affordable homes in this phase. Phase II is projected to be completed by the end of 2020, and relies heavily on volunteer labor in order to keep costs down and homes affordable for Kauai families. For this reason the organization is actively recruiting volunteers for build days like this one.
For groups or individuals interested in providing a service day, arrangements can be made by visiting the Kauai Habitat for Humanity website at www.kauaihabitat.org, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 808.335.0296.
No previous construction experience is required to volunteer.