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Realtors get real at charity work site


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POSTED: Thursday, July 16, 2009

More than a dozen Prudential Locations staff members traded Realtor hats for construction helmets last month at the Habitat for Humanity job site in Papakolea, swinging hammers instead of for-sale signs, all for a good cause.

The Location Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Prudential, contributes more than $100,000 to charity each year, of which $5,000 was presented to Habitat for Humanity that day in June.

Judy Kumano was one of the 18 people on hand as part of Location Foundation, and thought she would be assisting with the finishing touches on the home. But when they arrived, she found “;only the foundation was finished. We were really surprised at what needed to be done,”; she said. “;It was hard work, but it was fun. Everybody had fun.”;

Ten people took the first shift, with the remaining eight taking the second. “;They limit us to 10 per shift,”; she said. “;It's the most they can have on site who are not licensed builders.”;

It was their way of helping the Hao family, who fulfilled the requirements to be recipients of a Habitat for Humanity house. Once completed, it will be a place that Cathy Hao and her son Matthew, 13, can call home, along with Hao's mother, Victoria Spencer, and brother, Reno Spencer. Matriarch Victoria had lived on the property for more than 50 years, and their old two-bedroom, one-bath house was razed to make way for the new one. Cathy Hao had inherited the land from her father.

Site supervisor Mick Ferreira, an independent real estate broker who put his day job on hold a few days a week in order to keep the project on schedule, said they've made progress in the last few weeks since the Location Foundation assisted, with the help of student volunteers who've given their time this summer.

“;We're getting ready to put up windows,”; Ferreira said. “;We're trying to get the home done before the holidays and hope to have it all set for when the trick-or-treaters come out.”;

To help, call Habitat for Humanity at 538-7070.