Merchant Marine captain gives back

HANAPEPE — A retired Merchant Marine captain pledges to match donations to Kauai Habitat For Humanity up to $50,000.

Capt. James Richards, along with his wife Sharon, approached the Kauai affiliate of Habitat for Humanity earlier this month with an idea to raise funds for the organization.

The couple, who split their time between Kauai and Sisters, Oregon, offered to put up $50,000 to be used to match donations in an effort to raise the $100,000 necessary to construct one Kauai Habitat home.

What has affectionately been dubbed “The Captain’s Challenge,” this campaign will encourage members of the Kauai community to make a tax-deductible donation to the organization and have that donation matched dollar-for-dollar by the Richards.

“It’s a great incentive for our community,” said Milani Pimental, deputy director of Kauai Habitat for Humanity. “It’s a way for our constituents to make more of an impact by having their gift doubled through giving to The Captain’s Challenge.”

The Richards decided to offer the matching donation after seeing the positive impact such challenges have had on local charities they have been involved with.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Chris Young, community relations coordinator. “This type of generosity isn’t seen every day, and being able to match donations will encourage so many others to give.”

Kauai Habitat for Humanity is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, an ecumenical, nonprofit, Christian housing ministry. Its mission is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness by making decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Through volunteer and homeowner labor, and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses.

To make a donation, visit the Kauai Habitat for Humanity website at www. kauaihabitat.org.

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