It was a quiet day at the office for Wailea Realty Corp., a Boutique of Windermere Real Estate on Friday, June 8. That’s because 25 of its agents spent the day at the beach. But they weren’t playing hooky from work: They spent the day collecting rubbish along the Kahului Harbor shoreline as part of Windermere Community Service Day.

Every year, Windermere Real Estate offices throughout the Western U.S. close their doors for one day so brokers and agents can make a positive difference in their communities. The annual day of community service was conceived in 1984 after a group of real estate agents teamed up to give a local elementary school some much-needed TLC. Since then, on its designated Windermere Community Service Day, Windermere Real Estate has helped improve local communities in seven states through a variety of neighborhood-enhancing projects.

This year, Wailea Realty Corp., a Boutique of Windermere Real Estate partnered with the Pacific Whale Foundation to commemorate World Oceans Day on Friday, June 8. The theme of this year’s event was “encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter.” The 25 agents from Wailea Realty Corp., a Boutique of Windermere Real Estate were among the 233 volunteers who took part in the beach cleanups, which were hosted by marine naturalists at Kahului Harbor and the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge in North Kihei. Volunteers were given free cleanup kits and data collection sheets; the data will contribute to the Pacific Whale Foundation’s marine debris monitoring and removal program. Pacific Whale Foundation’s conservation commitment includes monitoring, collecting and reporting marine debris, which kills and injures wildlife, spreads invasive species, leaches pollutants and endangers human health.

At the end of the day, more than 13,600 pieces of trash were collected; 87 percent of those items were plastic. According to the Pacific Whale Foundation’s final tally, the top 10 items collected at the cleanup sites included pieces of plastic; cigarette butts; bottle caps; pieces of metal; food wrappers; paper and cardboard; pieces of glass; fishing lines, nets and ropes; Styrofoam; and plastic bags.

“Spending most of my life in the Hawaiian Islands has allowed me to really see that some of my favorite childhood hangouts are in dire need of cleanup,” said Realtor-Salesperson Christian Slocum. “Teaming up with the Pacific Whale Foundation was an easy choice to make and I’m glad we were able to make Kahului Harbor a little bit better for the residents of Maui. I’m looking forward to the next cleanup.”

Realtor-Salesperson Jai N. Jimenez agrees. “It was a great day to give back to our community by cleaning a part of Maui,” he said. “I grew up surfing and enjoying our beaches and it felt good to be part of a team that helped make a difference to keep our beaches clean and safe.”

This isn’t the first time the company has pitched in for a good cause. Among other things, it has donated $32,000 to the Assistance Dogs of Hawaii program; organized the Maui Monopoly tournament to raise funds for the Maui Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity; sponsored basketballMAUI (a nonprofit organization that helps youth develop their athletic abilities and character through the game of basketball); and brought world-renowned motivational speaker Nick Vujicic to Maui to share his message of hope and inspiration with island teens. And on last year’s Windermere Community Service Day, Wailea Realty Corp., a Boutique of Windermere Real Estate focused its efforts on the Kihei Youth Center; 29 of its agents cleaned and made repairs to the youth facility, and served lunch to 75 kids and staff members.

For more information about the Pacific Whale Foundation or this year’s World Oceans Day, visit www.pacificwhale.org/events/worldoceansday. To learn more about the annual Windermere Community Service Day, visit www.facebook.com/WindermereRealEstate.

By Sarah Ruppenthal
The Maui News – August 25, 2018

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