Getting Smart

donation station our kakaako

At the donation station in Our Kakaʻako, educational materials donated by Kamehameha Schools affiliates are free for all.

Text by Anna Harmon | Images by John Hook

“Kamehameha Schools’ mission is to support and promote education as well as to cultivate a culture of sustainability throughout the organization. The Donation Station reflects how those core values harmoniously come together,” says Amy “Kālai” Brinker, sustainability manager at Kamehameha Schools. As she stands at the center of the Donation Station in Our Kaka‘ako surrounded by binders, backpacks, and books. The station, which is open until December, takes donated items in good condition from Kamehameha Schools properties and makes them available to educators and students within Kamehameha Schools and the broader community.

Brinker estimates this project will divert more than 10,000 pounds of materials that would be in landfills otherwise. “We want to make sure an admin person over here isn’t buying a binder, while another is throwing one away,” she explains.

But it is more than merely an exchange of goods and a way to save resources. “For Kamehameha Schools, landfills are especially important, because often, landfills are located near Native Hawaiian communities,” Brinker says. “This is another way we are having an indirect impact right in the community.”

Anyone can stop in at the Kamehameha Schools Donation Station to select free supplies, as long as the items are to be used for educational purposes. It is located in Our Kaka‘ako at 401 Cooke St. on the mauka and Diamond Head corner. Hours are Thursday and Friday, 2 to 6 p.m. (2 to 4 p.m. for Kamehameha Schools affiliates, 4 to 6 p.m. open for the public); Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (10 a.m. to noon for Kamehameha Schools affiliates, noon to 2 p.m. open for the public).

For more information, visit ksbe.edu/donationstation.