The Home Depot may be a national chain with millions of customers, but their aim is to become an integral member of the local community through their educational programs, offered free of charge and covering topics from ceramic tile installation to building bird houses.
Kaua‘i’s Home Depot offers “how-to clinics” and “kids workshops” each month inside the store. Store manager Jabaar Bean said, “We invite all of Kaua‘i to come participate and learn how home projects they may have considered out-of-reach, can be completely attainable with a little information and skill.” Originally from New Jersey, Bean came to Hawai‘i with the Marines, and has worked with Home Depot for three years.
At a recent children’s workshop held on the first Saturday of the month, local keiki learned how to assemble an herb garden from plywood, soil and seeds.
“We give each child a mini orange apron, and let them borrow a mini hammer and nails, while their parents help them use the tools and put projects together,” said Bean. “We pride ourselves on offering these educational programs because it allows us to give back to the community and give confidence to folks that may not have thought they could do something like this.”
Since the inception of Home Depot “Kids Workshops” in 1997, “12 million projects have been built by kids across the nation; more than 750,000 children built their first toolbox; nearly 600,000 birdhouses have been constructed; and more than 290,000 children have built a step stool to help them reach home kitchen counters or sinks,” states a recent press release.
According to the published history of the company, the store founded in 1978 is now the second largest retailer in the United States with fiscal sales of $64.8 billion.
The company employs near 325,000 associates and has 1,890 stores.
Adult workshops cover a multitude of subjects and are offered on Saturday or Sunday for approximately one hour. “We have nationally planned clinics to offer, but invite people to give us a call and suggest a clinic that may be focused more on Kaua‘i’s unique environment,” said Bean, “call any manager and we’ll be able to set something up.”
From basic electrical installation, to planting roses and painting techniques the “how-to clinics” or “do-it-herself” workshops are sometimes designed specifically for women. Launched in May 2003, “these workshops have been attended by more than 340,000 women nationwide,” states a recent press release.
At every clinic participants receive step-by-step instructions for each project as well as can take advantage of special product offers including product samples, free subscriptions, rebates and coupons.”
Guided by specialists from every department, Bean hopes there will be more Kaua‘i residents attending these free clinics, “we’re here to help build confidence so that people can get the knowledge and skills to complete even complex projects, like building a deck,” Bean said.
For more information, to register or suggest a clinic subject call 632-2740 and ask for a manager. Check the company’s Web site for current schedules www.homedepot.com.