It’s going to be a challenging holiday season for Carmen and Chaz.
Carmen was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She lives with her daughter, but has always been very independent.
With Carmen’s deteriorating health, her daughter has had to reduce work from full time to part time to provide care for her. Finances were tight and are even more so due to the medication that Carmen now has to take to control her Parkinson’s.
Chaz, 71, faces similar struggles after suffering a stroke a year ago that resulted in partial paralysis. He is now more dependent on his 66-year-old wife, Julie.
They receive a small amount of Social Security and Julie is still working part time. Chaz is still adjusting to his disability and Julie is trying her best to stay healthy so she can continue to work and care for her husband.
Carmen and Chaz are just two of the many people who will receive assistance through The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund.
Through Christmas Eve, The Garden Island will share stories of families facing challenges who could use a little holiday cheer. TGI uses fictitious names in the stories.
Donations will be distributed to needy families by Zonta Club members, who purchase gift certificates at appropriate businesses to help make their wishes come true.
The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund was established in the early 1980s. Each donated dollar is carefully recorded, accounted for and spent wisely.
The Garden Island encourages individuals, clubs, schools and businesses to rally behind the Christmas Fund. Anyone making a donation of $500 or more can have their picture presenting the check published in TGI.
Only monetary donations can be accepted. Checks can be payable to Zonta Club of Kauai Foundation can be mailed to P.O. Box 3032, Lihue, HI., 96766.
Information: Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, chair of The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund Committee, 822-9882.
The following are more stories of people who will receive help through The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund. While the names have been changed, the situations described are real.
Anything to brighten their holiday season would be a welcome surprise.
Suffering from dementia
Sophie suffers from dementia. Her daughter tries to take care of her needs, but works all day to make ends meet and goes to school part time at night. They are on a tight budget having to pay house rent, home care for Sophie, food and other household necessities, which hardly leaves any extra for the month.
Illness, no job
Mary Beth suffers from dementia and lives with her son and family. Her daughter-in-law has had to quit her job to provide the daily care that Mary Beth requires and just recently her son got laid off from his job causing added stress at home. Times are hard now until her son can get a new job to support the family.
Little money, home needs repairs
Hanayo receives only her monthly Social Security which barely covers her medical expenses, food, and utility bills. Her home is in need of repairs before the winter season comes around. She doesn’t like to spend money on herself so she shops at thrift shops whenever she gets to town.
Alzheimer’s setting in
Sally has developed early onset Alzheimer’s and lives with her daughter and son-in-law and three children. Her daughter has had to quit her job to provide care for her, which has placed a burden for her husband as being the sole provider. They can barely pay for their house rent, food, and clothes for the children, which has added stress to the household.
Lani lives alone and suffers from depression and dementia. She is in poor health and refuses to go to the doctor to avoid paying bills for the office visit and medications. Her meager monthly income only covers her rent and barely any food. Friends and neighbors help with bringing over some meals for her.
Death in family
Michie recently lost her husband, which has made her depressed. As a couple they were independent, but she now lives with her elderly son. He can barely support himself and now with taking care of his mother, their financial situation is very tight. She depends on him for emotional and financial support. She received very little income as she was a housewife and her husband was the sole supporter.