Merry days through Christmas fund

Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano is a quiet sort. Polite, kind and gentle, she is the type of person you love to see coming your way because you know she’ll have something nice to say. 

Despite her reserved ways, Dimples is also the driving force behind the The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund. She’s been its chair for more than 20 years.

She’s the point person who leads by example, not by words. It’s clear she wants to help each and every person possible through the fund. She wants young and old to enjoy the holidays as much as possible. She was delighted last year, when donations totaled around $43,000, a record, thanks to the community’s generosity and an anonymous donor who matched contributions.

We’re hoping we see the same success again this year. We hope to see keiki and adults rally to this cause. We hope businesses and community organizations find ways to contribute. We want to bring cheer and smiles to those who might otherwise not have the brightest of Christmases.

Here’s how the program works:

Through Christmas Eve, The Garden Island will share daily, front page stories of families facing (we don’t use their real names) challenges who could use a little holiday cheer.

The idea is simply to create awareness that there are people who would appreciate assistance, and there is an avenue for us to provide that assistance. Donations to the Christmas Fund will be distributed by Zonta Club members, who purchase gifts certificates at appropriate businesses to help make wishes come true. Members of this group really do have hearts of gold.

And yes, each donated dollar is accounted for and carefully recorded. Rest assured, too, the money is spent wisely.

There are no administrators collecting salaries. The money goes directly to provide gift certificates for those who will greatly appreciate it.

The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund was established in the early 1980s. Dimples says it has been rewarding to see so many families benefit through the generosity of the community.

“It’s brought a lot of happiness to families in need,” she said.

If they would like, anyone making a donation of $50 or more can have their picture presenting the check published in TGI.

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