‘They don’t even have families’

POIPU — Marcia Ota of the state’s Department of Human Services said several kids came in and opened their Christmas presents Friday.

“These are people who are really in need,” Ota said. “The look of happiness and joy when they open their presents show how much they need the love. They don’t even have families.”

Ota was one of several nonprofits, include the state’s Department of Health and the Prison Ministries who accepted Christmas stockings, holiday gift boxes of household items, including blankets, bedding and other items from the staff of the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club.

Donna Rivera of the Waiohai housekeeping department spearheads the annual event, which is in its 11th year.

“Our associates are happy and proud to be able to help those who really need help enjoy the holidays,” she said.

Ray Ho of the Department of Health said his stockings go to children who are developmentally disabled, and Clayton Sui of the Prison Ministries said his load will be distributed between prisoners at the Kauai Community Correctional Center and the Women in Need programs.

“They’re trying to get back on their feet, and this kind of help, especially during the holidays, means a lot to them,” Sui said.

The Waiohai associates added several beneficiaries, including the Children’s Miracle Network and Toys for Tots.

“The need continues to grow,” said Jenni Saguid, Waiohai administrative assistant. “We are grateful that Waiohai associates and their families continue to respond with gratitude and generosity. We are excited to be able to make this Christmas a little brighter for local keiki and their families this year.”

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