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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 14, 2001

Advertiser Christmas Fund
New bed is priority for family of four

 •  Recent donations
 •  Previous stories

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

"M.A." is a cashier at a discount store who has had her work time reduced from 40 hours a week to less than 20 since Sept. 11. Her boyfriend and father of their two young children is working six to seven days a week at two jobs.

Between them, 29-year-old M.A. and W.M., 30, are earning about $1,100 a month. The couple from Micronesia are struggling to make it without welfare assistance or food stamps.

They live in a two-bedroom Pawa'a-area apartment that costs them $750 a month in rent. In addition to their two infant children — ages 15 and 4 months — they're also caring for W.M.'s 64-year-old father.

"It's hard — I need my (work) hours back," M.A. said. The cutback in hours is costing her about $200 in take-home pay.

"These days, I'm lucky because I have medical from my company and I'm working," she said. "It's difficult. We struggling. But we have enough to get by on."

What they don't have is a bed.

Until a month ago, the couple and their two children were sleeping on an old queen-size bed that was given to them by relatives. As the bed began to fall apart, M.A. said small bugs began crawling out from the mattress. The bugs bit the young children, causing rashes.

The family is sleeping on a thin blanket laid down on a concrete floor.

"We need to get a queen-size bed," M.A. said. "I think that is the most important thing we need. I just concerned for my kids. We need to get off the floor."

The family wants nothing else but a bed. They're doing without to make ends meet.

"Our life is hard but things going get better," M.A. said.

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Recent donations

In memory of Hildegarde 25
In memory of Fred Cramer 25
In memory of David Garliepp and Billy Gibson Garliepp 25
In loving memory of Susan Lee Lukacovic 25
In memory of William and Margaret Smith 50
In memory of Yori Uchida 5
In memory of Chun Dai and George and Raymond Chun 5
In memory of James "Iakopo" Ferrigno 100
In memory of Chick 100
In memory of 9/11 victims 250
Kimberley W. Bercaw 5
Jocelyn Gomez 10
Joanne A. Gomez 10
Jennifer Gomez 10
Alma K. Kuniyoshi 20
Jose Gomez 20
M.C. Rankin 20
Roseanne M. McLoughlin 25
Blaine H. Shishido 25
Cheryl H. Mokuau 25
Merv Young 25
Etsuko N. Motooka 25
Michele A. Ferguson 25
Fumio and Sumako Saito 50
James K. Gomard 50
Freda N. Welles 50
James J.Y. Louis 50
Teri and Pat 50
Felicita O. Mohika 50
Linda M.B. Paul 50
Michael W. Chow 50
I. Robert Nehmad 100
Lori A. Tanigawa 100
Grace M. Unemori 100
Sanford Mosk Associates 100
GRJ Realty, LLC 100
Dorothy Nell Bloom 100
Art and Nancy Moss 100
Ryan and Rachel Inouye 100
Stanley K. Yamashita 100
Wilfred K.S. Ching 100
Department of Environmental Services 100
Keopuolani Dorm, Kamehameha Secondary School 160
From Maka 300
Anonymous 3
Anonymous 20
Anonymous 50
Anonymous 50
Anonymous 100
Anonymous 100
Anonymous 200
Anonymous 200
Anonymous 1,000
Anonymous 1,000

Total $5,628

Total to date $44,476.31

. . .

Previous stories

• Thursday, Dec. 13: Mother of three wants job to keep family from being homeless again
Wednesday, Dec. 12: Electric fan, microwave will help
 • Tuesday, Dec. 11: Vacuum sought for home of ailing child
 • Monday, Dec. 10: Household with seven children needs new refrigerator
 • Sunday, Dec. 9: Family lives in shed, seeks clothing
 • Saturday, Dec. 8: Children need bedroom furniture
 • Friday, Dec. 7: Stroke patient needs friend to get to therapy
 • Thursday, Dec. 6: Shriners patient needs shoes, transportation to appointments
 • Wednesday, Dec. 5: Clothing for sons welcome
 • Tuesday, Dec. 4: Ex-addict, abused wife reclaims life
 • Monday, Dec. 3: Disabled man seeks toy for grandson
 • Sunday, Dec. 2: Ailing son left family buried in bills
 • Saturday, Dec. 1: Woman says seventh child is chance to be good parent
 • Friday, Nov. 30: With its breadwinner laid off, family requests help for first time
 • Thursday, Nov. 29: Pacific immigrants struggle to stay here
 • Wednesday, Nov. 28: Couple forgo gifts, except for two keiki's
 • Tuesday, Nov. 27: Child's grave needs headstone
 • Monday, Nov. 26: Security officer, six children have to eat on floor
 • Sunday, Nov. $25: Holiday assistance badly needed this year