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!


Vintage Pieces for Summer

For many, summer can be a difficult time to experiment and dress up for. Sometimes trends like bright colors, bold graphic prints, and sheer fabrics can be daunting to someone who is unfamiliar with how to style them. Personally, my style incorporates a lot of neutrals, so I know first-hand that it can be hard to be exude a “summery” style without being out of your element. Despite this awkward fashion crisis, whenever I’m at a loss and feel like I need a kick of inspiration, a Goodwill store is the perfect place to look for original pieces. This time, I was in desperate need of some statement items for this season and so off I went to the Goodwill store in Wahiawa to find something that would catch my eye.

Not surprisingly, I came away with more than one piece and found that you can look very put together and fashionable despite what discomforts summer can throw at you. You’ll find that the garments purchased at Goodwill do follow the trends by being colorful, print happy, and sheer, but are styled in a wearable manner so even if you aren’t a total fashionista, you too can imitate these looks. By shopping at a Goodwill store, you’ll feel proud of yourself because ninety percent of retail sales are channeled into improving programs and services to help people with employment barriers reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.

With two Goodwill GLAM! Squad members, Lyle Amine and Tamara Stephens, we created a fashion spread to illustrate how to style the Goodwill finds. The looks suggest different outfits from morning to evening. Here’s to a summer of sustainably conscious shopping and your new summer looks!

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.

  • Volunteers help to further and share Goodwill’s 501(c)3 non-profit mission to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient
  • If you would like to join the Goodwill GLAM! Squad, click HERE to download the application. You may fill it out, scan it and send it back to us or request a hard copy form at

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.

Get Dressed to kill at Goodwill

What am I going to go as this Halloween? Have no fear, the Goodwill GLAM! Squad is here!! This past Saturday, at six Goodwill stores on the island of Oahu, the talented Goodwill GLAM! squad of volunteers provided shoppers with FREE one-on-one Halloween costume styling!  The managers and staff at the Kaimuki, Beretania, Pearl, Kapolei, Wahiawa and Waipahu Goodwill stores helped to make this a fun and unique Halloween experience for shoppers all at affordable prices. 

Many participated in the style sessions including a little girl who just loves the colors red and black, a college student who asked me to style him as Honey Boo-Boo, a cute couple who wanted to be a Zombie and Shaun of the Dead, a young at heart school teacher who wanted to dress up for her students and a high school student who wanted to go as PSY from the hit song Gandnam Style.

When you shop at and donate your items to Goodwill (including your gently used Halloween costume) you’re supporting Goodwill’s non-profit mission – to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.

KITV4 morning anchor Jill Kuramoto and Goodwill GLAM! Squad members Keala Patterson and Catelin Aiwohi feature fun and affordable Halloween costumes from Goodwill:


Visit the Goodwill GLAM! & Ghouls gallery to view more fun pics.