Michael and Kim Fish may be two of the Realtors Association of Maui’s newest members, but they’ve already made a big impact in their new profession.
Last November, the couple decided to make a career pivot and earned their real estate licenses the following month. Now with eXp Realty, the Fishes say they couldn’t be happier with their decision to switch gears. “It’s been a pretty amazing experience,” Michael said. “We love that we get to work together as a team.”
One of the first orders of business for the husband-wife team was figuring out a way to give back to their community. Like many other Realtors on Maui, they planned to make a donation with every escrow they closed. And they narrowed it down to something specific: A $400 Costco gift card.
The Fishes came up with the idea in early March when they were preparing to close their first escrow. “We were talking about how incredible it is to be a part of a transaction where everyone is a winner, the seller and the buyer are both moving into a new chapter in their lives and the agents are happy—we get paid for our hard work making this happen,” Michael said. “It’s a win-win-win situation and we were thinking: why stop there? Why not give back to the community, especially now with the effects of 2020 and all that has happened?”
That’s what was on the couple’s minds when they went for a walk one afternoon and something caught their eye. “We saw three minivans with people living in them and we knew we needed to do something,” Michael recalled. “We thought about giving money or donations, but we decided we’d rather give something with value like a gift card. With the $400 Costco gift card, someone can really have a helping hand, get some great products and have a boost to move forward.”
So far, they’ve closed four escrows and donated four gift cards. The first recipient was Maria, a single mother who is undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia and is currently seeking a bone marrow donor. The second recipient was Toni, who was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in February and is now undergoing treatment. The third recipient was a young single mother named Araceli, who is working hard to make ends meet. And the fourth recipient was the Malama Family Recovery Center, Maui’s only women-specific addiction and substance abuse treatment center; Michael and Kim’s donation will help the center purchase food and supplies for single mothers in recovery.
The recipients and their stories vary, but Michael says their reactions are always the same. “When we present the Costco card, it is a very emotional moment,” he said. “You never know what life is going to throw at you and to have someone step in with a simple act of kindness… it’s so powerful.”
The Fishes will continue to donate Costco gift cards with every escrow they close in 2021 and encourage others to give back in any way they can.
“It’s an amazing feeling to realize that you have the power to help another person or family,” Kim said. “It really only takes a second to decide to become a force for good in this world. In this current climate I feel it’s even more important to help others. We have met some wonderful people and have heard some inspiring stories by helping others. It’s a true gift.”
To help Toni in her battle against breast cancer, visit the “Love and Aloha for Toni Cravalho” donation page: www.gofund.me/2c1e790e. To help Maria, visit the “Love for Maria” Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/2185119195141044.
The Maui News – May 17, 2021