By Sarah Ruppenthal
It may be hard to believe, but a few weeks from now, students across Maui County will getting ready for the first day of school. And for the third year in a row, the Realtors of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE) Advantage Realty Valley Isle will help make the new school year a little easier for many of those students.
In July of 2021, the agents collected and donated nearly 10,000 No. 2, mechanical, colored, and jumbo pencils for the Realtors Association of Maui Community Foundation’s (RAMCF) Wishing Well… for Maui Students program. Last summer, they rounded up nearly 1,000 composition notebooks for the program. And this year, they’ve set their sights on collecting another 10,000 pencils through July 31.
Why pencils? For one thing, pencils are one of the most-requested school supply items. On top of that, BHGRE Advantage Realty Valley Isle wanted to make it simple for people to donate. “By selecting just one item to collect, we thought it might make it easier for someone to grab a few extras,” explained Realtor-Broker Erin Clapper.
Since its inception in 2007, the Wishing Well program has donated goods, supplies and services to public schools countywide. Run by volunteer Realtors Association of Maui members, the program covers every public school on Maui, Molokai and Lanai, along with Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, a nonprofit that shelters students in different grade levels at its Wailuku and Lahaina facilities. Each school has a volunteer Wishing Well coordinator who collects and distributes donated school supplies year-round.
The Realtors of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty Valley Isle will be collecting pencils of all kinds—No. 2, mechanical, colored, and jumbo pencils—through July 31 for the Realtors Association of Maui Community Foundation’s Wishing Well… for Maui Students program.
Photo courtesy Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty Valley Isle
The program relies largely on donations from residents, visitors, and businesses, which is why efforts like the BHGRE Advantage Realty Valley Isle pencil drive are so important.
“It is hard for many to believe that the basic supply all students need is a No. 2 pencil—and yet there are still many families that are struggling to purchase multiple packets of pencils for each child,” said Sarah Sorenson, who founded the Wishing Well program 16 years ago. “Having the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty Valley Isle office collect these various pencils will help so many students.”
You can help these Realtors meet their goal of collecting 10,000 pencils this month. Donations can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty Valley Isle office located at 54 Maui Lani Parkway in Wailuku.
To learn more about the Wishing Well program, visit www.ILoveMauiSchools.com or call Sarah Sorenson at (808) 283-3969. If you’re a Maui County public school teacher with a wish list for your classroom, contact Sorenson at (808) 283-3969.
Realtor means a member of the National Association of Realtors. Do you know a Realtors Association of Maui member who should be recognized for their contributions to the community? If so, send your story idea to Sarah Ruppenthal at firstname.lastname@example.org.