Meet George Kam a.k.a. "Mr. Gadget" | YMCA of Honolulu | Honolulu, Hawai‘i |

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Meet George Kam a.k.a. "Mr. Gadget"


Longtime Y volunteer George Kam is looking for donations of Walgreen prescription bottles and other supplies to create unique mobility and assistive aids to help others. Drop off your donations at any YMCA Branch.

George Kam loves turning things most folks would discard, into unique and useful gadgets – all of which he gives away to help others. Now George needs your help and donations of empty Walgreen prescription bottles, BIC pens with removable caps, PVC tubing, colorful duct tape and empty paper towel rolls to create assistive devices for those with mobility challenges.

For the past 32 years, George, now 88 years young, has also volunteered his time and talents to teach thousands of people of all ages speed boxing at the Nu’uanu Y. The classes are free, and students gain a new way of staying fit and come away inspired from George’s many colorful stories, his generosity and “famous sayings.”

“Knowledge without sharing has no value,” is a favorite motto George lives by, and shares with his students. It’s also the inspiration for George’s recent gadget inventions to help folks with mobility challenges, such as he had after knee surgery.

“I couldn’t bend over to pick things up off the floor,” recalls George. “I had to rely on others for help.” So George created a cane out of recycled PVC tubing and added a hook, magnet and adhesive material to the bottom to pick up items off the floor. Other gadgets include an extended tong and recycled tape measure for out of reach items, old BIC pens converted to screw drivers and cutting tools, and containers made out of empty paper towel rolls wrapped in colorful duct tape and Walgreen prescription bottle caps to store your gadgets.

“I’m blessed every day I get to help people at the Y and now through my inventions, can help folks keep their independence,” said George. Drop off your recycled donations at any YMCA Branch now through August 15!