Christmas Fund gets $20,000 boost

Inspired by the dedication of Zonta Club of Kaua‘i to help families in need during the holidays, Nareit Hawai‘i is donating $20,000 to support its Christmas Fund program.

“We share the ideals of what the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i stands for and are so appreciative of everything being done to help those needing assistance,” Nareit Hawai‘i Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone said.

“This donation to the Christmas Fund is proudly presented on behalf of REITs (real estate investment trusts) in Hawai‘i, as it is through their generosity that we are able to support Zonta’s mission for the people of Kaua‘i.”

Nareit Hawai‘i’s donation is the largest one received this year for the Christmas Fund, according to Cyndi Ayonon, Christmas Fund chair and treasurer of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation. Ayonon said the donation will help the nonprofit immensely in fulfilling the 500 applications for assistance that have been submitted by families and individuals on Kaua‘i.

“We are honored to be the recipient of this generous gift, knowing how much it will help make people’s lives a bit more festive this holiday season, especially since so many families on Kaua‘i are still being challenged by the impacts of the pandemic,” Ayonon said. “Thank you, Nareit Hawai‘i, for investing in our island community for the less fortunate.”

Ayonon noted Nareit Hawai‘i’s donation is especially timely and uplifting to the Christmas Fund, as overall donations to this point have been light in 2021 compared to a year ago.

“I’m hopeful our many philanthropic-minded residents will realize the impact of Nareit Hawai‘i’s donation to our community and also contribute to the Christmas Fund as they have done so many times before,” Ayonon said.

The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation Christmas Fund, in partnership with The Garden Island newspaper, supports families and individuals of all ages on Kaua‘i, providing nonprofit-agency social workers with funding to fulfill essential needs for the disadvantaged, developmental and mentally challenged and homeless during the holidays.

Nareit Hawai‘i represents the interests of REITs in Hawai‘i and their participation in civic, community and policy initiatives to benefit residents statewide, while also supporting community and charitable organizations that address social issues of importance.

REITs are long-term property holders who own, renovate and manage affordable-housing projects, commercial buildings, medical facilities, shopping centers, cell-phone towers, public-storage facilities and hotels in Hawai‘i.

In January 2020, the Nareit Foundation and Nareit Hawai‘i presented a $120,000 grant to Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity to support the construction of a new, four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in ‘Ele‘ele for a low-income family.

Next month, the Nareit Foundation and Nareit Hawai‘i are planning to present a grant to the Kaua‘i Housing Development Corporation to support the building of a new, affordable home in Lihu‘e, the details of which will be announced at that time.

The Christmas Fund is an avenue for everyone to provide similar 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.

Donations may be made by way of the website, Zonta-Kauai.org, or checks can be made payable to The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 3032, Lihu‘e, HI 96766.

w Funds can go toward helping people like Sarah, a single mother of three active boys who love to go to the beach. The boys love Pokemon, the Avengers and video games. As the sole support in her family, Sarah would appreciate any toys that would make her boys smile.

w Or Cora, who fled from an emotionally and physically abusive boyfriend. She enjoys swimming and walking and would appreciate items to improve her self-care, including facial products, lotions, tea and essential oils.

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