Get Involved this Summer

June was an exciting month to be a Goodwill GLAM! Squad volunteer! Filled with fun surprises, this month’s events definitely consisted of activities worth getting out of the house for. On June 8, we returned to Discover Kaka’ako at Ward Centers. Situated at our usual spot, in honor of Father’s Day, we brought our talents to good use by teaching people how to tie a tie, which garnered some event goers to second guess themselves and ask, “so, just how is that done?” A new addition to the Goodwill booth is our “step and repeat wall” where models from the event’s fashion show come down and strike a pose after strutting down the runway. Event goers have been loving this new add because of the mysterious basket of Goodwill items that people can use as props to create their own mini photo shoot. Model aspirations anyone?


On June 13, L&L Drive-Inn held its eighth annual 76-cent plate lunch celebration. It’s safe to say that the plate lunch connoisseurs came back hungrier than ever. As an event volunteer, I can attest for the intense traffic and long line that stretched all the way from outside the Keeaumoku Wal-Mart and into the parking garage. Calming the eager crowd, the Goodwill Signing Stars performed popular songs in sign language, making the wait a more enjoyable experience. With bonus offers such as 10-cent Pepsi fountain drinks and free discount gas cards, it was no wonder that this year’s event was also a success and happened to gather more people than any of the previous years. All the proceeds went to Goodwill Industries of Hawaii to support our mission.


If you weren’t getting a plate lunch on June 13, then I hope you were in line to see the grand opening of the new Microsoft store at Ala Moana Center. Goodwill staff and volunteers were present as Microsoft bestowed a generous donation of $500,000 in software to Goodwill Industries of Hawaii at the store’s ribbon cutting ceremony. Not only were there new products to been seen at the retail store, but the excitement continued into the evening when, Goodwill staff passed out Dell Reconnect paraphernalia and attendees were able to visit the Goodwill truck to learn about our Dell Reconnect Program.  Let’s not forget the concert featuring Macklemore with Ryan Lewis and Neon Trees that everyone and their dog had been hearing about. Those high-energy artists kept event goers amped and ended the night with music still ringing in our ears.


Some might think that volunteer work is strictly boring stuff, but do these events look drab to you? Join the Goodwill GLAM! Squad to participate in more exciting events in the future. Bring a friend! Volunteering is always more fun with more people around. Our volunteers help to further our non-profit mission to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient. Don’t let summer slip through your fingers, volunteer today!


The Goodwill GLAM! Squad

Meet Ken Leung, Director of Retail Sales at Goodwill Industries of Hawaii. He’s been at Goodwill  since August, 2002, and worked as a store manager and has held various positions within the organization leading up to his current title –  Director of Retail Sales.

When he’s not at work he enjoys Karate, traveling with his family and spending time with his dog.

Here is Ken’s article:

Last year, Goodwill Industries of Hawaii held the inaugural public awareness event titled Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM! The event was a success and much of that success was due to the volunteers.  Volunteers clocked in more than 3000 hours in support of the event-week. To learn more about the successful results of Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM! click here.

You never know where volunteering will lead you. Take for instance Olotania Alalamua.  He’s a student at Honolulu Community College and is part of the Fashion Technology program.  He started with us as a volunteer production worker because he had an eye for identifying brand named and vintage items to support the inventory goals for the GLAM! event.  Because of his good attitute and hard work, his time as a Goodwill GLAM! Squad volunteer has transitioned into a job. He is a part-time worker at Goodwill and he is learning about the production process before items reach the retail stores.

Olotania Alalamua – from Goodwill GLAM! Squad volunteer to Goodwill employee

Here are a few facts about the Goodwill GLAM! Squad and information about how you could join the squad of volunteers: The Goodwill GLAM! Squad provides opportunities for volunteers to showcase their talent while supporting a good cause.

Goodwill GLAM! Squad members modeling at the Discover Kakaako fashion show: Keala Patterson, Uthpala Walpola and Rebecca Lin


Are You A Fan Of Goodwill, Food, Fun and Fashion? if so, consider volunteering at our next event:

Click here to register to volunteer at a future event.

The Goodwill GLAM! Squad shares information about Goodwill’s mission and community impact and also provides event support for the Discover Kakaako activities. 


A Year of Great Windows at Goodwill

Rene Rodriguez editing his Steampunk Fall looks in November, 2012

Creativity, a passion for design, thinking outside of the box… all essential components in visual merchandising.  Over the past year, Goodwill Industries of Hawaii’s Kaimuki store has been displaying visual treasures that can compete with the likes of Neimans and Nordstroms.  In fact, many items adorning the store mannequins are brands you’d find at those stores.

Goodwill GLAM! Squad member and visual merchandising mentor Rene Rodriguez has been leading the way in helping to create unforgettable ensembles throughout 2012.  Rene (assisted by  recent Interior Design graduate Kristina Ballina, and HCC Fashion student Olotania Alalamua) created unforgettable outfits. Many passers-by have shared with the staff that the window displays lured them into the Goodwill store.

Rene attended GIA (Gemological Institute of America) where he majored in Diamonds. He then pursued a career in the beauty industry as a make-up artist for Jon Mozo. Dubbed the eyebrow guru, Rene services both local and international clients and he’s worked for Dior and Chanel.  He was credited for co-producing the best fashion show Hawaii has ever seen  in 2010 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Honolulu Advertiser, Paula Rath, 2010). He’s  worked on blockbuster films such as Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Battleship and the Oscar nominated movie the Descendants.  Still doing what he loves to do, you can find Rene in Honolulu at Sanctuary Salon and view his work at

Fall Halloween windows

Fall Steampunk windows

Winter Holiday windows

The Visual Merchandising project was an important part of Goodwill Goes GLAM! – the four-day public awarenesss event that took place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall in August, 2012.  From October, 2011 to July, 2012, the items in the windows were set aside and sold at the Goodwill Goes GLAM! event.

Spring Prom windows

Summer windows:                                                                                                                               University of Hawaii at Manoa Apparel Product Merchandising & Design program – 2012 graduate designs.  Designer Anna Tomita (top left) pictured next to her design.  Looks were featured in a fashion show at Goodwill Goes GLAM!

Even after Goodwill Goes GLAM!, the Kaimuki windows continue to surprise customers with unpredictible, glamorous and imaginative ensembles on the male and female mannequins.  Proceeds from items sold support Goodwill’s 501(c)(3) non-profit mission - to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.  To see how your end-of-the-year donations can change a life go to

Be sure to stop by and see Rene’s creations as he continues to mentor students of fashion and Goodwill GLAM! Squad members who wish to get hands-on visual merchandising experience from an industry expert.

The Goodwill of Old Navy

Old Navy is eco-friendly and eco-chic. Their stores on Oahu have been providing Goodwill Industries of Hawaii with hangers for almost one year. Initially, the hangers were to be used for the inaugural public awareness event Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM! a monumental event week that took place at the end of August, this year. The partnership has turned into so much more. Old Navy and Goodwill continue this eco-friendly partnership, together helping to keep items out of Hawaii’s landfills throughout the year.

From left to right: Tyler Nguyen, Thomas Thrapp, Rebecca Gutierrez (Old Navy Ala Moana General Manager), Ryan Kusumoto (Goodwill VP of Administration), Briana Sabado and Liezl Dulduao.
From left to right: Tyler Nguyen, Thomas Thrapp, Rebecca Gutierrez (Old Navy Ala Moana General Manager), Ryan Kusumoto (Goodwill’s Vice President of Administration), Briana Sabado and Liezl Dulduao.

Rebecca Gutierrez, the General Manager of Old Navy in Ala Moana shared; We are so lucky to continue our partnerships with Goodwill and help support Goodwill Goes GLAM!. I feel so fortunate that we are able to work with an organzation that helps to keep 13 million pounds outside of our landfills. Through our partnership we were able to recycle thousands of hangers and rally more than 20 volunteers to help out at their GLAM! event. We are so thankful for our partnership and having the chance to give back!

For the last two years, Tyson Joines has been an instrumental part of Old Navy’s fashion show during Fashion’s Night Out. His styling highlights the playful elegance and simplicity of the Old Navy signature looks of the season.  Tyson Joines was a stylist mentor representing the Goodwill Goes Green segment featuring repurposed items from Goodwill designed by 2012 graduates from the UH Manoa APDM department at Goodwill Goes GLAM! in August. Here are a few shots from the Old Navy fashion show (Sepember 6, 2012) courtesy of photographer Jonas Maon.

Photos by Jonas Maon of – Old Navy Fashion Show – Fashion’s Night Out 2012

Four of the models (Rhonee Rojas, Morgan Clark, Katie Daly and Neka Stephens) that were featured in the Old Navy Fashion’s Night Out Fashion Show were also featured in the Elements of Goodwill Fashion Show at Goodwill Goes GLAM!  They are part of Goodwill’s GLAM Squad of talented volunteers.

The beautiful and bright Stacey Snee, Mrs. Hawaii 2012 was the emcee of the fashion show.  The magic behind the scenes was led by Tyson Joines and assisted by Dayna Kalakau. The key hair and make-up artist was Lorena Morallo Takushi.  Also on the talented team of hair and make-up artists were Aisha Bretz-Reese, Aloha Ilean Taulani, Marissa Deponte, Paulette Kitchell Fukumoto, Natalie Kim, Mel Mariano, Jr. and Mei of Salon Mei.

Photos by Jonas Maon of – Behind the scenes of the Old Navy Fashion Show

Goodwill appreciates Old Navy’s ongoing support.  Goodwill’s 501(c)(3) non-profi mission is to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.

Gathering the Good of Maui

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii understands the importance of working with community organizations and businesses statewide. This year their vision expanded to Maui in their first annual Community Resource Fair – “Gathering the Good of Maui.”  This inaugural community resource fair took place on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at the War Memorial Overflow Field from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The event included the gathering of community resources, non-profit agencies and private employers.  Amongst the agencies and supporting businesses, more than 50 Maui organizations joined forces to take part in or contribute to this event.  Attendees were treated to performances by the very talented Willie K. and other exciting entertainers, plus there were keiki games and door prizes.

Employment plays a critical role in the strength of the community and lies at the heart of Goodwill’s philosophy.  For this reason, Goodwill included a jobs section at the event, sharing their job readiness and job placement support programs with the attendees.

This Community Resource Fair provided an opportunity for community partners to share expertise and to enhance opportunities for collaboration.

Goodwill’s President/CEO, Laura Robertson Smith expressed, “We’re honored to be able to bring the community together to raise the public’s awareness of our non-profit mission, to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient, and also to highlight the resources that other agencies provide to support Maui residents.”