Drive begins to brighten Christmas for all

Nainoa and Keikoa are 2-year-old twins who live with their mom, dad, older sister and brother. They have delays in their development and are receiving services from the Easter Seals. The family is struggling to make ends meet even though both parents work. 

Sarah lives alone and relies on her Social Security to pay her rent, food, and medication. She was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and has had to start taking medication to help manage the symptoms. She can barely afford to cover the cost of medication she takes. With this added expense, she is left with little extra money for the month. 

These are just a couple of example of those who will receive help through The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund that is now underway.

TGI and the Zonta Club of Kauai are teaming up again to make the holidays happier for less-fortunate residents. Through Christmas Eve, The Garden Island will share stories of families facing challenges who could use a little holiday cheer. 

Donations to the Christmas Fund will be distributed by Zonta Club members, who purchase gifts certificates at appropriate businesses to help make their wishes come true. 

Each donated dollar is carefully recorded, accounted for and spent wisely.

Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, chair of The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund Committee, said each year the community responds to the program. Children empty their piggy banks, groups wash cars, families forego dinners out and businesses collect donations from customers.

Last year, with help of a major gift from an anonymous donor who matched contributions, the drive raised a record amount, around $43,000, to bring holiday cheer to hundreds of children and adults. Hundreds of families received assistance.

The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund was established in the early 1980s. Kano has been chair for more than 20 years. It has, she said, been rewarding to see so many families benefit through the generosity of the community.

“It brings people together,” she said.

The Garden Island encourages individuals, clubs, schools and businesses to rally behind the Christmas Fund. Anyone making a donation of $50 or more can have their picture presenting the check published in TGI. 

Only monetary donations can be accepted. Checks, payable to Zonta Club of Kauai Foundation, can be mailed to P.O. Box 3032, Lihue, HI., 96766.

The following are more stories of people who could use help through The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund. While the names have been changed, the situations described are real.

• Amanda and Trevor Love were placed in foster care due to severe neglect and both witnessed long-standing domestic violence between their parents. Currently, the children have no known family members.

• Mr. Plazano is a senior with major medical problems that leaves him disabled and unable to perform his basic activities of living, thus requiring 24/7 care. His wife is also a senior who needs to continue working and caring for her husband and older brother. Any type of assistance for this senior would be greatly appreciated.

• Dee Dee is a 20-year-old female with mild intellectual disabilities. She resides with her sister, brother-in law and nephews in Lawai. Dee Dee enjoys listening to music and surfing the Internet. Her goal is to one day live independently. She currently attends the Adult Day Health Program to increase her independant skills and personal assistance to support her healthy living. She is in need of a new dresser and portable closet. Thank you for any assistance that you are able to provide for Dee Dee and her family.

Info: Kano at 822-4517.


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