A Holiday Tradition of Giving Back

by | Dec 23, 2021 | At Home In Hawaii, CBIP Good News

Each year during the holiday season, our agents proudly lead numerous initiatives that give back to our local communities across Hawaii. From toy drives and giving trees to supporting our neighborhood food banks, we’re happy to highlight the work of our Coldwell Banker Island Properties ‘ohana and their successful holiday events on each island.

Holiday Toy Drive

Quinn Brown of Hookele Title and Escrow and Melissa Smith shopping for keiki wishlists.

Co-founded in 2016 by agents Melissa Smith and Elizabeth Wood to support homeless keiki at the Ka Hale A Ke Ola shelters on Maui, as well as families transitioning out of violent homes with the assistance of Women Helping Women, their holiday toy drive, now in its fifth year, began as a local initiative that has spread its giving light to other islands. This year, the initiative was additionally supported by Ho’okele Title and Escrow team.

For the past 5 years, Melissa has brought her three young daughters with her to help shop for and wrap gifts to teach them lessons in gratitude, humility, and kindness.

“For my co-founder, Elizabeth, and I, this is the best part of our Christmas holiday.”

– Melissa Smith, Holiday Toy Drive Co-Founder, pictured here (center) with Sanoe Kaahuie, director of Women Helping Women, and her daughter.

Youth Professionals Network Toy Drive

Also on Maui, Coldwell Banker Island Properties agents Shelley Krynsen, Kat Sirignano, and Genesis Buduan co-hosted a toy drive event on behalf of The Young Professionals Network, collecting gifts during an evening spent with colleagues and commynity at the Maui Brewing Company.

Coldwell Banker Island Properties agents Shelley Krynsen, Kat Sirignano, and Genesis Buduan pictured with the Maui Young Professionals Network at Maui Brewing Company toy drive event.

Keauhou Giving Tree

This year on the Big Island, the Keauhou giving tree event successfully fulfilled the holiday wish list of 54 keiki and gave each of the 20 families KTA grocery gift cards. Agents and staff from multiple offices and departments worked together with organizer Cristina Hiro to beautifully wrap and deliver the gifts.

Christmas in Ka‘u

Coldwell Banker Island Properties and our Hawaii Global Luxury Group team – Kurtis Becker, Brandy Shibuya, and Carl Hulen – worked with the Jonathan Dale Miller Foundation, which purchases gifts throughout the year and receives gift donations from community partners, to distribute more than 1,000 gifts, Costco hams, and gingerbread house kits to more than 100 southern Big Island families. At the event, called “Touched by an Angel,” families also received 20 lb bags of rice, sacks of fresh fruit, bento boxes, children’s books, school supplies and backpacks from other event participants.  The event ran well past sundown until the last families had come through.  

Kurtis, Brandy, Carl, and his wife, Jenny, also participated in a second Jonathan Dale Miller Foundation weekend event called Christmas in Miloli‘i where food and gifts for children were distributed on-site at a community park to local families. “Both weekends were amazing events, there was a lot of gratitude (and big kid smiles) from the families,” said Carl Hulen. 

Maui Food Bank

Throughout the months of November and December, Kihei-based agents Chase Traphagen and Laura Myers collected non-perishable food items in support of the Maui Food Bank during the Saturday farmers market located at the Kukui Mall and raised funds to support the organization in their effort to provide hunger relief to those in need.

Mahalo nui to the local community, agents, and staff that presented the opportunities to give back. We appreciate your efforts and are grateful for all you do.