As they have done for at least 25 years, Kauaians came through, answering our call for help through the Zonta Garden Island Christmas Fund.
The drive is an annual event co-sponsored by The Garden Island newspaper and the Zonta Club of Kaua’i, the Kaua’i unit of an international service organization of professional women.
For nearly three decades, the newspaper, Zontians and our generous neighbors have teamed up to help make Christmas a little brighter for those less fortunate.
Overall this year, donations were down from prior tallies but the quality and generosity of those who were able to help was still impressive in its scope.
St. Catherine’s Church featured some of the stories published in past weeks on a “Giving Tree” and asked parishioners to help fulfill the needs of a family whenever possible.
And many came through with heartwarming generosity, giving generous monetary donationsgift certificates, toys, food and many other items for families in need. All gifts were made anonymously, out of the spirit of the season. Other boxes of brand new toys were also delivered anonymously.
Kaua’i Marriott’s Guest Services Department staff, managed by Ben Napoleon, bought quality brand new toys for the second year in a row and donated it to the Fund. According to Hank Ibia, one of the organizers, employees were just asked to “go out and buy something you’d buy for your own children.” And the quality of the toys donated proved that they did just that.
But individual donations were still the bulk of the fund this year as they have been in the past. Amounts ranged from a $2 allowance, proudly turned in by one youngster to donations of several hundred dollars.
All monies collected, food donated, and toys and gifts brought in are going specifically to help families that have been identified by their agencies as being the most in need.
Because of Kaua’i’s generosity, there will be smiles and happy faces in many homes that didn’t expect to have anything at all this year.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to help everyone. While we wish there were, there is simply not enough to go around. Hopefully next year, more donations will be available to help even more families than this year.
But to all of those who took the time to shop, write a check or stop by with a donation, The Garden Island newspaper and Zonta Club of Kaua’i president Karen Davis and Christmas Fund chairperson Dimples Kano, send a heartfelt mahalo. Without your assistance, Christmas would have been very bleak for all of the families who were helped.
As they enjoy this day of giving and sharing, there is no doubt that they too will be sending their grateful thoughts your way.l