HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last December, Kamaka Dias announced his wild idea to pay off $50,000 in student debt by the end of 2020 by working for anyone who would hire him.
He wasn’t looking for a 9-to-5 gig to earn the cash. He wanted to do odd jobs.
“Ever since the news story that we did in December the response has been amazing,” he said.
Dias, 27, named it “The Race to $50K.” Splitting time between Hilo and Oahu, he did it all ― from light chores to manual labor.
“I picked up groceries, cupcakes, flowers, food, weed whacked, planted trees, cleared bushes, raked leaves, painted, did dump runs. Everything!” he said.
Dias even cleaned out a college student’s dorm, officiated a close friend’s wedding, bathed and walked dogs, and dressed up as Buzz Lightyear for a child’s birthday.
Word of mouth got him more work.
His journal for the year lists more than 300 different job entries.
“This is my planning book, my book that I write everything in, every dollar I make, every dollar I spend, the names of people that helped me, everything is in here,” he said.
For full transparency he uploaded daily and weekly updates to his Facebook and Instagram pages, showing him at work and updating his earnings.
So far he has raised more than $48,000 toward his $50,000. The feedback has been ultra-positive.
“People have been inspired by the hustle and the frugality of it all,” he said.
Dias thought the pandemic would slow things down but the opposite happened. Job offers keep coming. Someone even gave him a car so he could drive to his jobs.
“The fact that they still wanted to support me and get me to the finish line is really cool,” he said.
He also gave back, using his stimulus check to put together hundreds of gift packs for high school seniors. “I just grew up always wanting to give and help out,” he said.
Dias expects to hit his $50,000 goal soon, then he plans to write a book about the race ― and the people who kept him in it.