Realtors Association of Maui Gifts 60 ʻUkuleles to Boys & Girls Club
Members of the Realtors Association of Maui delivered 60 newly purchased ʻukuleles to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui Central Clubhouse in Kahului on Wednesday, Jan. 25, as part of a yearlong ʻukulele drive sponsored by RAM.
The ʻukulele drive, which is still ongoing, is part of a national fundraising initiative launched by the National Association of Realtors. In 2016, NAR and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America joined forces in an effort to support youth and strengthen communities across the country.
In accordance with the national campaign, RAM member Moana Andersen, who also served as the president of the Hawaiʻi Association of Realtors, kicked off the ʻukulele drive at one of RAM’s general membership meetings last year. Andersen said RAM members were eager to donate the funds to purchase 60 top-of-the-line ʻukuleles and ʻukulele cases from the Mele ʻUkulele retail store in Wailuku. “It only took one ‘ask’ to get the funds for these instruments,” she said. “RAM’s generosity is already evident through its scholarship program for college-bound students—this was one more way for RAM to give back to the youth of Maui County,” said Andersen.
NAR, which represents more than one million real estate professionals nationwide, decided to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America last year in recognition of the organization’s lasting impact in communities across the country.
For more than a century, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has provided a home away from home for millions of young people. There are currently more than 4,100 clubs serving nearly four million kids each year through club membership and community outreach.
Maui County’s six clubs, collectively known as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui, serve more than 9,000 young people annually through after school and summer programs. Club members between the ages of 9 and 17 years old (some clubs serve kids as young as six) can do homework, develop social skills, express themselves creatively and participate in sports—all in a safe place. And now they can play music there, too.
“Kids learn so much when they have music in their lives,” Andersen said. “I can tell you from experience that a musical instrument creates so many opportunities. Everyone should have one.”
That’s why the purchase of the 60 ʻukuleles was just the beginning, she said. Andersen plans to continue fundraising until she can purchase an additional 240 ʻukuleles. “My goal is to have 50 ʻukuleles at each of the six clubs in Maui County,” she said. “I know it’s a big wish list, but it’s doable. With the community’s support, I know we can make it happen.”
For more information about the ʻukulele drive or to make a donation, call Andersen at (808) 283-1775. To learn more about the Realtors Association of Maui, visit www.RAMaui.com.