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Realtor from Lahaina wins national award for volunteer leadership in combating hunger : Maui Now


Debbie Arakaki at the Maui Food Bank. Courtesy photo.

Realtor, Debbie Arakaki with Compass in Lahaina is one of five winners chosen as a recipient of the National Association of Realtors® Good Neighbor Awards.

In the state with the nation’s highest food costs, Arakaki has raised funds to provide more than one million meals through the Maui Food Bank. Since 2015, she has rallied the real estate community to host food drives, run fundraisers and volunteer for food-packing events.

Now, in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires, she is amping up her efforts to help thousands of families who lost their homes. Arakaki and a group of other long-time Maui residents collaborated to create the Maui Pono Foundation to provide immediate funds to neighbors in need.

Debbie Arakaki at the Maui Food Bank. Courtesy photo.

“As we honor Debbie, we are reminded of the broader purpose that unites us in the real estate profession,” said NAR President Tracy Kasper, a realtor from Nampa, Idaho, and broker-owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Silverhawk Realty.

“Beyond sales and contracts, it’s the people, their stories and the shared dreams that matter. She is making a difference in her community and improving lives every single day, underlining the true spirit of community engagement,” said Kasper.

Debbie Arakaki. Courtesy photo.

“I am truly humbled to have been chosen for this award,” said Arakaki. “So many real estate agents make invaluable contributions to their communities, and I am honored to be part of this group. My Maui community has provided so much for me and my family over the years, driving me to give back in any way I can, and I’m so proud that the Maui Food Bank organization is today a vital resource for the many families grappling with food insecurity on our island.”


Arakaki and the other four Good Neighbor Award winners will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and be featured in the fall 2023 issue of REALTOR® Magazine. NAR will formally present each with their award on Nov. 15 during NAR NXT, the association’s annual conference that will take place in Anaheim this year.

NAR’s Good Neighbor Awards is supported by primary sponsor Realtor.com as well as the Center for REALTOR® Development. In September, Realtor.com invited the public to vote for their favorite of the 10 finalists.

Arakaki ranked in the top three in the Web Choice Favorite voting and will receive a bonus $1,250 grant for her charity.


“This year’s Good Neighbor Award winners continue the tradition of raising the bar on what’s possible through giving back,” said Realtor.com  CMO Mickey Neuberger. “Their stories have moved us at Realtor.com and we are honored to be long-time sponsors of the Good Neighbor Awards program.”

Debbie Arakaki. Courtesy photo.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Source: Maui News

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