Japanese Grandma launches Zonta match grant

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Cyndi Ayonon, chair of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Christmas Fund, accepts a $1,000 contribution from Keiko “Japanese Grandma” Napier, as Edie Ignacio Neumiller, past Area 1 director, adds her personal contribution, Sunday at the Japanese Grandma’s kitchen In Hanapepe.

HANAPEPE — When Keiko “Japanese Grandma” Napier made her contribution to the Zonta of Kaua‘i Christmas Fund, she was thrilled to learn that her contribution was doubled because it was made on the first day of a matching grant.

Cyndi Ayonon, chair of the Zonta of Kaua‘i Christmas Fund, said a donor on Saturday contributed $5,000 to the Christmas Fund. Additionally, the donor would match up to $5,000 in contributions that are made through this week. Joining Napier, Edie Ignacio Neumiller, the past Area 1 director, made a personal contribution that would also be matched.

Napier said her contribution is based on a percentage of diners’ food bills created between Dec. 3 through 15.

“Our family is in Los Angeles,” Napier said. “And with the COVID-19, we decided that instead of exchanging gifts this year, we would give to the community.”

In addition to the Zonta contribution, Napier said the Japanese Grandma restaurant also had toys for the Toys for Tots program that she was going to drop off at the Hanapepe fire station before the end of the day.

“I’m also bringing them a couple of trays of sushi,” Napier said. “They can have a good Christmas as well.”

The Japanese Grandma has been a strong supporter of community giving programs, having contributed to several other campaigns through this pandemic.

Several of those contributions included home deliveries of meals to mothers on Mother’s Day, providing a prime rib dinner for Waimea High School graduates who had to settle for a makeshift graduation, and more recently, working with the West Kaua‘i Lions Club to create flying saucers for the virtual bon dance presented by the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple.

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 social-service agencies.

Each donation is accounted for and recorded. There are no administrative costs involved, and money goes directly to provide for those in need of 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 the website, Zonta-Kaua‘i.org, or checks can be made payable to The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation, P.O. Box 3032, Lihu‘e, HI 96766.

w Blake is a young man with a disability. He lives independently with his half-sister. This holiday season he could use hygiene products as sometimes he needs reminders for self-care such as bathing, shaving and dental hygiene. He also would love a new size medium aloha shirt. He also enjoys walking around the community so a new pair of slippers or shoes would be put to good use. Any help is greatly appreciated.

w Natalie is a single mom to a 5-month old infant, outside of caring for an infant, Natalie also works when she is able to, but finding child care has been difficult for the hours that she is offered. Natalie is also working on correcting mistakes of her past and is working with agencies to help her move forward and recover from those mistakes and to focus on her child’s needs.

Natalie has found housing, and is looking forward to starting a new chapter for both her and Nicole. Natalie is asking for household items, such as, pots, pans, utensils, towels, toiletries, linens and curtains.


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