A overdue mahalo for Christmas Fund support

This is an overdue thank you to all the big-hearted, generous people out there who made the 2019 The Garden Island/Zonta Club of Kauai Christmas Fund such a resounding success.

Donations topped $30,000, with every dollar going to hundreds of families and individuals who applied for help through social-service agencies.

This year, perhaps more than any other, we had folks come through the front door of our Lihue office to drop off cash, checks and gift cards. Many wanted to remain anonymous, simply wishing to give and be on their way. Others preferred to chat a bit. One woman, when told TGI couldn’t accept a credit card donation, that those could be completed on Zonta’s website, then dug into her purse and pulled out a $100 bill. That right there showed the heart of all who contributed to this effort to bring a brighter Christmas to those who otherwise might not have received anything.

It was, in a way, a wonderful and fitting tribute to Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, who oversaw the fund for Zonta for two decades, and only this year, at age 94, after much anguish, decided it really was time to step down. While we’re sad Dimples won’t be leading the charge any longer, we’re delighted that so many recognized and wanted to honor her efforts. No one is kinder and has more aloha than Dimples. Simply put, she is the best.

We go forth taking pride in knowing that while there are many fine nonprofits out there, donors opted to support the TGI/Zonta Club Christmas Fund. We will continue to do our best to deserve your support and trust.

If you are not familiar with this program, here is a little history:

w The Zonta Club of Kauai was started April 1, 1952, and in the ’80s added the Zonta Club of Kauai Foundation, a nonprofit for fundraising;

w All Zonta clubs are members of Zonta International, active in 63 countries with over 30,000 clubs worldwide. The mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. Zonta International celebrated its 100th year Nov. 8, 2019;

w In the 1980s, Zonta Club of Kauai partnered with TGI to publish stories — with information provided by social agencies — about their clients’ needs to raise awareness and donations so they could have a brighter Christmas.

We’ve been at it since.

In the nearly four decades this program has been going, it’s helped thousands of people, young and old. And that’s all possible because people opened their wallets and purses. The credit doesn’t go to TGI or Zonta, but to those who gave without expecting anything in return. Thanks to them, there were hundreds of smiling children and adults on Christmas morning. And that is a priceless gift.

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