Zonta of Kaua‘i Foundation Christmas fund kicks off its 30th year

  • Contributed photo

    Cyndi Ayonon, new Zonta of Kaua’i Foundation Christmas Fund Committee Chair, Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, Honorary Chair and Marge Akana, Co-Chair planning for the 2020 campaign.

The annual partnership between The Garden Island Newspaper &The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation is kicking off and celebrating its 30th year.

For the past 25 years, the organizations have teamed up to raise funds for people in our community in need of support through various non-profit agencies.

In 2019, it received $30,570 in donations which included the $5,000 donor match through the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. With the help of nine agencies providing stories of families and individuals that could use help during the holiday season, 749 keiki and kupuna had a brighter Christmas and all through the support of our community and friends of Kaua‘i!

Through Christmas Eve, The Garden Island will share daily, front-page stories about families (we don’t use their real names) facing challenges and who would appreciate a little help.

The Christmas Fund is an avenue for everyone to provide that assistance. Donations are used by Zonta Club members to purchase gift certificates that are in turn distributed to families and individuals through the social service agencies.

Each donation is accounted for and recorded. There are no administrative costs involved and the money goes directly to provide for gift certificates to those who need them for Christmas presents and groceries.

If you hold a fundraiser for the Christmas Fund, let us know and we’ll spread the word. Anyone making a donation of $150 or more can have their picture published in TGI.

Donations may be made by way of their website at: www.Zonta-Kauai.org or checks can be made out to: The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation, P.O. Box 3032, Lihue, HI 96766.

It’s been an especially difficult year, so any donations are much appreciated. All donations will serve families in need on island, like the three included in today’s paper.

w Hoku, 76, lives in Kauamakani with her son, Makani, 40, who has down syndrome. These two are inseparable. He helps his mom with everything. Hoku uses a cane and Makani will be on the opposite of the cane, walking alongside her. Hoku has arthritis, anxiety, cholesterol, and, at times, vertigo. On Oct. 14, Hoku underwent knee surgery. Both her and Makani are now staying with one of Hoku’s daughters, Tita, as she recovers. Hoku has two more daughters. Hoku and Makani would be grateful for any assistance that can be given.

w Pua Good is a 51-year-old female who is intellectually disabled who suffers from seizures and other health medical conditions. She resides with her family in Hanamaulu and has a Personal Assistance Habilitation worker who works on her goals to increase her independence. The request is for funding to purchase wipes and other medical supplies as the family uses their out-of-pocket money to purchase supplies monthly. Thank you for any assistance that you are able to support for Pua and her family.

w Kalia is a 14-year-old girl. After experiencing sexual assault by a peer in early childhood, Kalia experienced another incident of sexual assault by a stranger in the community. A few months ago, Kalia entered foster care due to parental neglect after her mother would not allow her to return home. Kalia is adjusting well to her new foster home, but missing her four young siblings she has not been able to see since entering foster care. She is an insightful, straight-A student who loves to express herself creatively and spend time with friends. This Christmas, she would love a few gift cards to buy herself some new clothes and to be able to buy gifts to send home to her siblings.

Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano is still leading the charge again this year at 95 years old as the Honorary Chair of the Garden Island Newspaper &The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation Christmas Fund. Joining her is her good friend Marge Akana, who accompanies her to meetings and activities and new Christmas Fund chair Cyndi Ayonon, who also serves as the Zonta of Kaua‘i Foundation Treasurer.

These three have teamed together to bring Christmas joy and smiles to many of those in need this year especially with the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dimples is fondly known for her leadership in the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i and has begun to pass the torch to the younger members but not without telling her story about how it all began. Akana has been also involved in numerous leadership roles in the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i. Ayonon joined a year ago and has stepped up to assist in leading this project along for the first time.

These ladies are not only volunteers but they’ve owned their own businesses and giving back to the community is part of them reinvesting in making Kaua‘i a better place to live.

“It feels good to help the children and I enjoy seeing their smiles,” Dimples said.

Whenever she can Dimples attends monthly meetings, fellowships and although social distancing has prevented in-person meetings, Akana picks her up and they attend zoom meetings regularly at her home. Ayonon’s life is full of volunteerism and she spends most days running errands for the four non-profits she’s involved with.

“My life wouldn’t be the same without volunteerism, and I’m so happy to be able to serve alongside Dimples and Marge,” Ayonon said. “This year a new covid friendly application process was initiated by her so the nonprofit agencies could submit their client’s stories by email to alleviate in-person meetings or drop-offs.”

The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i was started April 1, 1952 and in the 80s added the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation, a nonprofit for fundraising. All Zonta Clubs are a member of Zonta International, active in 63 countries with over 30,000 worldwide. The mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. Zonta International celebrated its 100th year last Nov. 8.

Stay tuned to The Garden Island Newspaper to read the stories submitted by those seeking support.


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