Young men face trying times over holidays

Just a teenager, Wade has endured more than his fair share of troubles.

Born to a single mother and into a home where alcohol, drug use and violence were rampant, Wade was put into foster care at the age of 10. For four years, he moved between three different foster homes in addition to spending a year off island away from his mother while living with relatives.

During this difficult time, Wade began using drugs and falling behind in school, but with help, he has come off drugs and is improving in school. His mother has also made great improvements and the two have recently been reunited back home.

However, in spite of now having a job and stable housing, they still struggle to survive on very low funds. Wade would love a new backpack for school, as well as a new skateboard to keep up with his favorite hobby.

Another young man is also facing trying times.

One day, Alf came home from work and got into a fight with his brother. The police were called and Alf went to jail. He lost his home, car, job and freedom.

Today, he lives in a halfway home and has a hard time getting around. He sure could use some sort of transportation to look for jobs and a home to live in. He has nothing to wear and could use some nice clothes.

These are some 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 and recipients 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.

Following are more stories of people the TGI/Zonta Christmas Fund will assist. While the names have been changed, situations are real.

– Amy’s husband died of cancer this year and she recently discovered that she has early stages of cancer. She is having difficulty with finances because of her reduced income but remains optimistic that after chemotherapy she will be able to get back on her feet and work again. She appears frail and could use nutritional supplements and home delivered meals on the days her chemotherapy makes her weak.

– Marissa is a young recovering addict and has had a tough childhood. Her parents kicked her out of the house at a young age and she was forced to be on her own as a result. She then became involved with folks who abused her. She also had a child at a young age but lost the rights to see her child as a result of her drug and alcohol abuse. Marissa has now turned her life around and has returned to school, and is looking for employment. She is working hard toward making her life better and having a life with her young child. Her current housing situation is good, however she still struggles with necessities such as toiletries, female needs and undergarments. She is also going to school and needs simple items like pencils, pens and papers. She also loves to read and a few new books would also be a plus.

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