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Woman needs iPad to communicate needs

The Garden Island

Barbie Smith needs your help this Christmas.

The 23-year-old woman is intellectually disabled with vision concerns and requires a g-tube and tracheotomy. She resides with her parents, aunt and elderly grandmother in Hanamaulu. Barbie’s mother and primary caretaker is in poor health due to two strokes she experienced this past year. She continues to recover and Barbie’s family is working to keep their family stable. 

Barbie has many health conditions, which require a skilled nurse with her. A personal assistance habilitation worker also works on her goals to increase her independence. Barbie is nonverbal due to her tracheotomy which limits her communication with others.  

The request is for Barbie to have a communication device such as an iPad. By having an iPad or communication device, Barbie will be able to communicate her needs and wants as well as develop social relationships with others. Thank you for any assistance that you are able to provide for Barbie and her family.

This is just one of the stories of those who will receive help 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. Donations to the Christmas Fund will be distributed by Zonta Club members, who purchase gift 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. Donations go to help individuals and families. The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund was established in the early 1980s. Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano has been the longtime chair of the Christmas Fund Committee.

Organizers say donations are off to a strong start and they appreciate all contributions.

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: Yoshiko “Dimples” 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.

Kainoa is a 14-month-old child with speech and motor delays. He lives with his parents in a small multigenerational home. Both parents work alternate shifts and his mother works two jobs to make ends meet. His parents are committed to helping Kainoa progress in his therapy and would appreciate any financial assistance to be able to purchase diapers and clothing. 

Mrs. Katsu is 97 years old and lives with her family. She suffers from dementia and relies on her family to assist with her care. Her family members also have physical ailments as they are elderly. Their house is in poor condition and with the recent rains, they needed to make major renovations which affected their monthly income. 

 Horace is a very friendly 63-year-old man who loves to talk with anyone he meets. Sadly, Horace has faced some financial hardships this year and had to move out of the rental he has called home for 20 years. The move and set up of a new place has put him in a financial bind and cost him all his savings. It is all he can do to get by month-to-month and he could really use a gift card to lift his spirits and all him a few extras. 

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