It’s been a busy few weeks here at Honolulu Habitat – and that’s the way we like it (cue KC and The Sunshine Band).
The ceremonial gold shovels that we use for breaking ground on new projects have seen a lot of action recently. On the heels of our Ground Blessing Ceremony with the Kalaluhi family in Papakolea, we are honored to have commemorated the beginning of another home build – this time in Waimanalo.
If you have volunteered on a build site this year, you probably already know Uncle Willy Gramberg, who has been helping build the Piohia home since December.
William (Willy) Gramberg and his wife Cheryl could not have asked for better weather or company on Wednesday, May 5th when we gathered to bless their land in Kaka’ina and break ground on their Habitat home. After months of preparation, hours of paperwork, meetings and completing their required pre-sweat equity, the Gramberg family is ready to begin construction.
We began with the ceremonial Hawaiian practice of blowing the pu (conchshell) and a welcome from Habitat Executive Director, Jim Murphy. The Gramberg family was also greeted by Shanti Gomes, President of Honolulu Habitat’s Board of Directors, fellow Habitat homeowner and soon, neighbor.
The blessing was conducted by Pastor Kahu Kenneth Makuakane of Kawaihao Church. In honor of Lei Day, he spoke of the plumeria flower with its five petals, representing the helping hands of our community that will make the dream of homeownership a reality for Cheryl and William.
Then, William and Cheryl gathered with their family for the first dig where their home will soon stand.
“Traditionally a house is bought with lots of money and between businesses. But our Habitat home is being built with caring volunteers, our neighbors and our family. It will be more treasured than anything we could buy with money.” – Cheryl Gramberg, Future Habitat Homeowner
This project is made possible by our partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and will be the fifth Habitat home built in the Kaka’ina community in Waimanalo.
“Today is a momentous day for the Gramberg ohana,” smiled Tyler Iokepa Gomes, DHHL Deputy to the Chair, “Getting onto the land as Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole envisioned is in sight. Partnerships with organizations like Honolulu Habitat are invaluable tools for our beneficiaries in building homes that fit their needs. It is always a good day to break ground on another new homestead.”
The 2-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home is anticipated to be complete in early fall. Ready to swing a hammer with the Grambergs? Learn more about volunteering!