Donations jumpstart Christmas fund

A pair of $500 donations have The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund off to a strong start.

Wailua residents Lincoln Gill and Pam Brown each donated $500 on Monday.

Gill, a Realtor with Active Lion Real Estate, said it’s nice to know there are almost no administrative costs associated with the program to assist Kauai’s less fortunate during the holidays.

“It appeals to me knowing the dollars you’re putting in really help,” he said.

Brown, author of Kauai Stories and representative of Insurance Factors, has been a long-time supporter of the Christmas campaign. She encourages and challenges other businesses to donate to the program.

“I’ve appreciated how they zero in exactly on what people need that’s going to make their lives better,” Brown said. “Knowing Zonta, and knowing Dimples (Kano, chair of the fund committee), I know they are watching the funds with an eagle eye, making sure they go to their best benefit.”

The donations delighted Kano.

“I am absolutely overwhelmed. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that people are paying attention and giving to the plight of our less fortunate people,” she said. “It really is.”

TGI and the Zonta Club of Kauai are teaming up 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. Volunteers make this program a reality. There are no paid administrators and any administrative costs are paid by volunteers like Kano. Donations go to help individuals and families. The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund was established in the early 1980s.

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.

– Sammy is a 16-year-old-youth who has spent his entire life on the island of Kauai. Both of Sammy’s parents passed away when he was young and since then he has struggled to deal with the struggle of not having parents to raise and guide him through life. He has bounced from different foster homes but is hoping for some stability and is planning to live with his sister-in-law. Sammy would love a chance to buy some new clothes and possibly some fishing gear to make his holiday a memorable one.

– Coming to Kauai from Midwest as a young adult, Winter was looking for a change. The change, however, got her in trouble as she met people who were not, in a sense, appropriate. She has been in and out of jail and has finally realized that this is not what she needs to keep doing in her life. She has secured a good job and has since disassociated herself with those she shouldn’t be around. She is doing better but still struggles with day to day trials and tribulations. Her new job requires her to have clean clothes and shoes. She is planning to apply to attend school and would need supplies in order to do this. As a young woman, she is working hard toward her goal.

– This holiday, it may be wonderful for Susan and her son to receive two monthly bus passes. Susan was recently laid off and is currently unemployed. As a single parent, she is struggling to make ends meet while assisting her daughter who just started college. Her son is 17 and is constantly outgrowing his shoes. It would be a surprise for him to receive a new pair of shoes and socks this season.

– Trisha and her son moved to Kauai after her husband abandoned the family. She is currently trying to find a job and a home. Her son attends high school and she hopes to attend college one day. She has no car and needs to take public transportation for interviews.

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