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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, December 21, 2002

Independent-minded mother of three only wants toys for her kids

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

"J.B." is torn between following the traditional cultural practice of sending money home or pursuing her American dream.

"If I have cleaning business, I be my own boss," said 25-year-old J.B., who has been taking classes for more than a year on starting her own business. "Then one day I move in my own house. Might take long time, like 10 years, but I want to do this."

J.B. is a single parent with three children, ages 5, 3 and 9 months. She lives in a sparsely furnished public-housing unit with her diabetic mother. The family survives on welfare and food stamps.

Although money is tight, J.B. feels obligated to send some to her Pacific Island home, where her relatives are also struggling.

• Checks made payable to The Advertiser Christmas Fund should be mailed to Helping Hands Hawai'i, P.O. Box 17328, Honolulu, HI 96817.

• Our anonymous Santa will match the first $25 of all contributions. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has pledged to match and double cash donations.

• Donations also may be dropped off at any First Hawaiian Bank branch. Anyone wishing to donate goods instead of money can do so at the Community Clearinghouse at 2100 N. Nimitz Highway, near Pu'uhale Road. For details, call 536-7234.

"There are many family members here just like her who cannot break the cycle," J.B.'s caseworker said. "Most of them go back home. I think she understands that without becoming independent, she'll never be able to raise her kids how she wants to."

There are no toys in the home for J.B.'s children, the caseworker added. When asked about it, J.B. said, "I wish my children could have toys. I want them to be like other children when they go to school." The children could also use clothing, the social worker said.

J.B. doesn't want anything for herself. With a goal in life, she feels she has more than some people.

Donations to The Advertiser Christmas Fund

• In Memory of Alyce Kaneshiro $200
• Margaret Shirley Connors 100
• James and Beth Cunningham 100
• James W. Hawkins 100
• Jean and Randy Jaycox 100
• The Kawaharas 100
• Frank T. Kazusa 100
• Kiri and Eha 100
• Ellen and Edward Kohara 100
• Shigeto and Natsuko Minami 100
• Jeanette and Alan Young 100
• In Memory of Pacifico "John" Padilla Jr. 25
• In Memory of Conrad W. Schornstheimer 50
• In Memory of Ellan S. Maneki 50
• Philbert J. Alencastre 20
• Ellen and Pierre 20
• Merna C. and Richard K. S. Chang 25
• The C. Chings 25
• Christopher and Besty Kwock 25
• Lorinda and Baron Locke 25
• John and Melba Mariano 25
• Jason Nakagawa 25
• John and Aileen Potter 25
• Dainelle, Jessica, Shane and Sierra 25
• Baker H. Shiroma 25
• Janina and Billie Takari 25
• Daniel and Ethel Takamatsu 25
• Bernard and Rose Wong 25
• Mike Isobe Family 30
• Nan and Chas 50
• From my Grandchildren Luke Ryan Max and Nicole 50
• From a friend 25
• Anonymous 25
• Anonymous 25
• Anonymous 25
• Anonymous 100
• Anonymous 100
• Anonymous 250

Total: $2,345

Total to date: $36,587.36