Categorized | Volunteering

AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer raising funds for Habitat

Erin Stephens (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7)


In September 2012, Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii is hosting a Blitz Build – building five houses in 10 days at Lai Opua in Kailua-Kona.

Erin Stephens, a member of the AmeriCorps and a VISTA – Volunteers in Service to America, is currently serving her one-year commitment of national service to Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii and is hoping to raise funds and awareness for the Blitz Build by taking on the Ironman Honu 70.3 Triathlon.

She will start the 1.2 mile swim at Hapuna Beach State Park, ride 56 miles on the legendary Queen Kaahumanu Highway up to Hawi, and finish with a 13.1 mile run.

“Taking on such an endurance event is such a thrill to me,” Stephens said. “It is a way I can contribute to the amazing feat of a Blitz Build my affiliate is setting out to achieve.”

From now until race day, she will be fundraising, with all donations going directly toward the new windows, doors, walls, and roofs for the homes being built.

“It is inspiring to see Erin, who hails from Boston and has done the Boston Marathon, use her strengths to make a difference in our community,” said Patrick Hurney, executive director for Habitat.

If you want to support Stephens, visit or mail a check to Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii, P.O. Box 4619 Kailua-Kona, HI 96745.

Checks may be made out to Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii and noted “VISTA Ironman.”

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 45 years.

VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment and hard work, members create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.

Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing.

In addition, Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii’s ReStore offers a wide variety of new and gently used home improvement products at discounted prices, up to 90 percent off retail value.

Community donations for Habitat ReStore are always welcome. Proceeds generated through these generous donations help build homes for Habitat families.

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