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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, December 1, 2002

Our Christmas Fund: time for needed aloha

Each year we ask for your help through The Advertiser's Christmas Fund. Each year you respond with the warmth and generosity Hawai'i is known for.

The fact is that, even though Hawai'i has languished in economic malaise for the best part of a decade, most of us continue to live comfortable lives.

But then there are the others, people who live lives of quiet desperation, barely making it from day to day. Many are homeless and hungry.

The need is even greater now, several years after deep budget cuts suffered by Hawai'i's community groups and agencies that serve the less fortunate.

In this Land of Aloha, there are many families whose only Christmas present will be a dream of a better life.

We at The Advertiser dream, too. We dream that a single mother will be able to have beds for her children, that a father can buy more than the bare necessities, that a child will have a present — even if only one — under a Christmas tree.

Please help them with that dream.

In a year marked by personal uncertainty and economic turmoil, the 2001 Christmas Fund raised a record $181,218 thanks to the generosity of readers and the thousands who participated in the Jingle Bell Run, which contributed $15,312 toward the total.

The largest single donation, which exceeded $28,000, came from an anonymous Santa who matched the first $25 of each donation received. This generous person has matched the first $25 of each donation for the past 10 years.

All the money raised goes annually to Helping Hands Hawai'i, which works with over 170 agencies assisting the needy statewide with goods and services.

The Advertiser is pleased once again to publish daily stories about the need that exists in the community.

Monetary contributions made payable to The Advertiser Christmas Fund can be mailed to Helping Hands Hawai'i, P.O. Box 19155, Honolulu, HI 96817. As in past years, donations to the Christmas Fund can also be dropped off at First Hawaiian Bank branches statewide.

Anyone wishing to donate goods instead of money can do so at the Helping Hands Hawai'i Community Clearinghouse. Call 536-7234 for information.