We would like to introduce Kauai to Kumu’s Cupboard, Kauai’s nonprofit store where teachers can shop for free. Kumu’s Cupboard is filled with school supplies, office supplies, materials for art and science projects, and student incentives.
Many educators spend their own money to enhance the education of their students whether to buy basic school supplies or materials for a special project. Kumu’s Cupboard, located near the old Kmart, opened January 28, 2017, to support public, private and charter school K-12 teachers, counselors, and educational assistants.
Calendar and Hours
- Tuesdays: 3:30pm-7pm
- Fridays: 3:30pm-7pm
- Saturdays: 10am-3pm
- Sundays: 1pm-4pm
Labor Day: 9/4-9/6
Fall Break: 10/2-10/9
Winter Break: 12/18-1/3
Spring Break: 3/12-3/19
Holiday Weekend: 4/2–4/4
Closed for summer: 5/27 - mid-July
You may shop once per month. Please bring your school ID and your own bags.
Our store is located at the old Payless Shoes location in the Kmart shopping center, in Lihue.
Board of Directors
Elyse Litvack, Founder and President
I have lived on Kauai since September of 2012, but have had a strong affinity for Kauai since our first visit in 1986. We spent our summers on Kauai beginning in 2002. I was an elementary school teacher in Seattle, Washington for 30 years, teaching primarily 2nd grade, 5th grade, and the last four years, a science pullout program. I also taught a pre-service science class at University of Washington, Bothell in the winter of 2011. On Kauai I am glad to work with students through the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge’s program, “Albatross Lifecycles”. I am currently on the board of The Mokihana Club, Grow Our Own Teachers on Kauai, and the Jewish Community of Kauai. When not a Kumu’s Cupboard, I enjoy traveling, playing mahjong, baking, going to the beach, volunteering and being with friends. I am delighted to be involved with the founding and on-going operations of Kumu’s Cupboard.
Amithea Love, Vice President
Amithea Love is originally from the Big Island of Hawai’i. She earned her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, then completed her respective M.S. and Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degrees in Clinical Psychology through Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire. She is a Hawaii-Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has worked for the Hawaii Department of Education’s School-Based Behavioral Health program for several years. She currently works with middle school students. She enjoys working with youth and their families.
In her free time, Amithea enjoys spending time in nature and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. She is passionate about animal rescue and is human to a rescued terrier mix named Abby.
Merna (Kam) Jim, Secretary
Merna (Kam) Jim is a retired fifth grade special education teacher. She has been teaching at Kapaa Elementary School since 1989. Prior to entering the education profession, Merna was a Registered Occupational Therapist working with infants, toddlers and pre-school aged children in an early child development program in the Salt Lake City, Utah. Also, as an Occupational therapist, Merna has had experience working with special needs students on Oahu, both in the alternate school setting (Olomana School) and in the public school setting (Windward School District).
Merna appreciates the support she has had through the years from her family, friends, and colleagues.
Belinda Bartels, Treasurer
I have been coming to Kauai annually since 1985 and moved here full time in November 2018 after retiring. I have a Certified Records Management background, with work experience at Boeing, Microsoft, 2 large law firms and 2 credit unions. I taught Records Management for 7 years at the University of Washington Extension program and served on two college level business advisory boards. I have been active at the local and international board level for two Records and Information Management associations. I enjoy reading, gardening, ‘game nights’, and time at the beach. I am also active in my church and the Mokihana Club.
Mario Alaniz, Director
30 years of experience in leadership and business growth positions ranging from the military United States Marine Corps to civilian at IBP, Leading Edge Aviation, Honeywell International, Lowes Home Improvement, Home Depot, IKEA, Michaels and Office Depot. I obtained Associates in Science from Amarillo Community College followed by a BA Business, Management and an M. ED. Instructional Design and Technology from West Texas A&M University in Amarillo, Texas. I reside in Kapaa with wife Yvette, our two kids Nick and BiBi and our Pyrenee dog Palomo. If we want positive changes in our community, we need to be part of those changes.
Lesah Merritt, Director
Lesah Merritt was born and raised here on Kauai. She attended Holy Cross School in Kalaheo and graduated from Waimea High School. Lesah is married to Capt. Wendell Merritt and resides in Lihue with her son and Mother in Law. Lesah has been employed with Safeway for 31 years and is the Store Director at the Lihue Store. Lesah is a Board Member of the Hawaii Food Bank and is very passionate about her community. Moving away from Kauai for 11 years gave her a deeper love for Kauai and the community. Lesah is also a recipient of the State VIP award (Volunteer in Philanthropy) from the Hawaii Food Bank and has received various awards and appreciation banners from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Friendship House and the State Department of Education for her Aloha by humbly employing and mentoring People with Possibilities. When in Safeway Lihue, stop by and say hello.
Alicia Perlas Miyashiro, Director
I’ve been teaching on Kauai for 27 years. I’m currently a district resource teacher at Kauai Complex Area. I support Elementary Schools in the area of Inclusive Practices. I’m born and raised here on Kauai in Puhi. I attended Pacific University in Oregon where I taught one year in Beaverton, Oregon. I have my Masters Degree in Curriculum from Gonzaga University. I have a son who is a freshman at Kauai High School. I enjoy doing crafts and spending time with my 7 year old dog Miso. I’m active in my church and enjoy helping others. I also teach Driver’s Education at Kauai High School.
Sanjie Sanjurjo, Director
After 40+ years of working for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools District, I retired in 2013 to the beautiful Garden Island in order to be near my daughter and grandson. In Miami-Dade I wore a number of different hats. I was a mathematics teacher in an inner-city junior high school and a Teacher on Special Assignment where I designed, developed, and administered subject area tests to monitor student achievement. I held several administrative positions that had the same emphasis: examining student data in order to assist school-site administrators and teachers to impact instruction and achievement. Now that I am retired, I am enjoying my family. I am a member of the Mokihana Club. I am privileged to be part of Kumu’s Cupboard which is allowing me to give back to the teachers and students on Kauai.
Shana Brown, Director
I have been teaching on Kauaʻi since 2014 in a variety of roles from Special Education and Intervention to General Education. Currently, I am a Special Education teacher at King Kaumualiʻi Elementary School. I also facilitate professional development for Code.org and write teacher guides for Aloha Movement Kauaʻi. Additionally, I teach piano lessons, tutor, and direct Girls Who Code and Code Club at my school. Prior to teaching on Kauaʻi, I was a teacher in the inner city of Chicago. I really enjoy helping teachers at Kumu’s Cupboard because I believe teachers deserve an organization like this to help them support our keiki. In my free time I love going to the beach, hiking, dancing, listening and playing music, and cooking.
Sharon Lasker, Founder
Even though I’m back living in the Carolinas (where I was born and raised AND where I taught elementary school), I’ll continue to support Kumu’s Cupboard behind the scenes. This is my bio:
Sharon Lasker obtained a BA in Elementary Education from Clemson University. She started her career as a public school teacher, then gravitated towards preschool and childcare management. Additionally, she worked for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis as a Program Director over kindergarten and school age programs. Across 9 years of calling Kauai home, Sharon served the island in a number of ways. For 5 years, she was a Member of the Kauai Committee on the Status of Women, and served as Chair for 3 of those 5 year. Sharon was an Active Member of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce for 7 years, and was on the Board for 2 years. Sharon’s greatest passion, after she moved to Kauai in 2010, was as a Guilda, the volunteer arm for Kauai Child and Family Service. She headed up their Backpack Brigade project, which provides backpacks and required school supplies each year to Kauai’s children most in need, for several years. Sharon’s passions have always centered around children and families. She and her husband Chuck, along with their little Shih Tzu Petey, will forever treasure their 9-year chapter on Kauai.