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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 8, 2003

Thankful mother needs clothes for son

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

"T.L." works as a part-time cook and receives no welfare assistance. Her husband is unemployed and splits his time between Samoa and Hawai'i, leaving T.L. to support their 14-year-old son.

The boy is the youngest of the 56-year-old T.L.'s nine children. A son is serving with the U.S. military in Iraq. The teenager is the only one living at home.

Two of her older daughters and husband, when he is here, help T.L. deliver newspapers to supplement her income from her cooking job.

"She tries real hard," a social worker said of T.L., who lost her full-time job at a restaurant because of cutbacks. The social worker said T.L. often works for free to help out in the kitchen. "She's always there for others, giving people in need money that she really needs."

T.L. is thankful to have a roof over her head and food on the table. All she wants for Christmas is clothes for her son, who wears men's waist 32 pants. "Every summer, his older brothers give him old clothes," she said. "I like for him to get something new."