It’s nice to hear good news coming out of the housing market. Last month Melanie Long, principal broker of Pacific International Realty, pledged to donate 25 percent of the commission earned at the closing of every business transaction (be it selling or buying a property) to the Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as long as the person mentions the name of the Kapolei no-kill animal shelter.
“We love animals and wanted to help the Oahu SPCA,” says the Hawaii Kai resident and owner of four dogs, three cats, two birds and two tanks full of fish.
“Homelessness affects all of us,” she adds, “and as a Realtor selling homes and placing families in new homes, I just wanted to help homeless animals, too.”
Long is no stranger to giving back to those less fortunate, whether they have four legs or two. In 2007, the Kamehameha Schools graduate and her husband, Charlie, a Kaiser alum, started the nonprofit Gift of Giving, which works throughout the year to raise money for and awareness of Hawaii’s homeless population. “We wanted our children to learn about caring and giving to those less fortunate, and so we took the time to expose them to all sorts of things,” explains the mother of five. “We would fundraise and buy stuffed animals to give away. We did this for Lunalilo Home and Shriners Hospital. Then we started branching out to big deliveries to IHS, and finally realized we needed to create an official nonprofit to reach even more people and spread our message.”
For the past four years, the Longs have joined with friends, family and businesses to put on a Christmas Project at the Waianae Homeless Shelter complete with presents, entertainment and lunch prepared by Hawaii Kai restaurant BluWater Grill.
And even though she will welcome baby No. 6 in June (“We have an official basketball team with a sub!” she jokes), Long remains active in the community as a member of the Rotary Club of Hawaii Kai and plans to assist with the Oahu SPCA’s inaugural fundraiser July 19 at the Waikiki Aquarium.
“It’s amazing how good caring and sharing feels,” says Long, adding that she and Charlie have already begun collecting funds for this year’s Christmas Project, with plans to do a Christmas Bear visit to Leahi Hospital this holiday season as well. Visit GiftofGivingHawaii.com to find out more.
“We are all doing small things to make big differences in others’ lives,” Long says. “It’s not easy, but we make the time. We find a way somehow, some way!”
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