Teenager battles addiction, needs help

Kawaika is a 15-year-old male who has been raised by his mother and has battled drug addiction for years. He has spent his young life helping raise his little sister and has unfortunately missed out on having a normal, fun childhood. 

Kawaika has also struggled in school, and recently dropped out because he was unable to keep up. He is now pursuing his high school diploma through an alternative education program and is doing much better. 

This year, it would be great to be able to provide Kawaika with some things that he not only needs, but would enjoy. Kawaika likes bodyboarding with his friends and would love a new board with some fins. It would be great to be able to provide Kawika with some new clothing, as most of his is either used or hand-me-downs. 

Kawaika’s is just one of the stories 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. The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund was established in the early 1980s. Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, has been chair of The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund Committee for more than 20 years. 

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. Info: Kano at 822-4517. 

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.

• Having lost her child due to her lifestyle choices, Pasion is working on recovering from her mistakes and making a better life for herself. She has been homeless for many years and hasn’t had a comfortable place to call home. She would be grateful for some toiletries, a blanket, pillow and some warm clothes. 

• Janice is on limited income and currently rents a room with her friends. She obtains food from various food panties and was recently approved for Medicaid. A holiday gift would brighten her Christmas day. 

• Mariah and Lelia live with their blended families. They are as close as sisters can be. The older sister was sexually assaulted and the younger sibling is greatly affected by what happened to her sister. Art supplies and music would make their Christmas memorable. 

• Nik is a boy who suffered abuse as a young child and has been adopted. His early abuse and experiences of neglect have affected him his whole life, making it hard for him to make friends and keep food social interactions. This has led him to feel depressed and isolated. The gift of money would help him with activities and making friends. His family would also appreciate gas and grocery cards to help them over the holidays.


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