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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Move knocked them off their feet

Help our neighbors in need

By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Staff Writer


Send checks, payable to The Advertiser Christmas Fund, to: Helping Hands Hawai'i, P.O. Box 17780, Honolulu, HI 96817. Helping Hands will accept credit-card donations by phone at 440-3831. Monetary donations may also be dropped off at any First Hawaiian Bank branch or The Advertiser's information desk. Monetary donations help operate Community Clearinghouse programs year-round.

Material goods can be taken to the Community Clearinghouse, 2100 N. Nimitz Highway, near Pu'uhale Road. For large-item pickup and additional information, call 440-3804.

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• Make an online donation to the Christmas Fund.

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They came here on a promise.

The 31-year-old woman brought her husband and three children to the Islands from Arizona after her mother invited the family to live for free in her house. The woman had plans to finish her schooling and become a sign language interpreter. Her husband could find work as a nurse's assistant.

So they moved, selling their furniture in Arizona and using the proceeds for plane tickets. But when they arrived here early this summer, the problems started almost immediately. The woman said her mother and stepfather were alcoholics and drug addicts. In late August, the family was thrown out of the house and forced to sleep in their van. They quickly used up their savings just on day-to-day living.

Finally, after sleepless nights and worrisome days, the family was accepted in September to the Weinberg Village Waimanalo transitional shelter, where they have been since.

"It was just really, really trying times," said the woman, who first moved out of her mother's home at 15 years old. She had hoped that moving here this year would help make up lost time with her mother.

"Never in my life would I have ever thought that this situation would happen," she said.

After several tense months, the family's stay at the shelter has helped them re-group. The couple's children, 14, 11 and 4, are doing well in school and appear to have rebounded fully. The father is working at a temporary nursing service, and the mother is looking for a job.

She said she would love to work nearby as the family van is no longer reliable. Her dream is to return to school and enter a sign language interpreting program, preferably at Kapi'olani Community College.

The mother, who asked not to be identified, said she grew up in the Islands. She moved away after getting pregnant in her teens.

Though life has been hard for the family, they are slowly getting back on their feet and are optimistic about the future. They are looking for a rental. And someday, the woman said, they want to buy their own home in Hawai'i.

Right now, they have few personal items and would appreciate any assistance. They are asking for donated clothes and shoes. The 14-year-old boy in the family wears a size 16 in boys and medium to large shirts. The 11-year-old girl wears a size 14 and large shirts. And the 4-year-old girl wears 4T.

The kids would love educational toys, and the mom said the two older children would also enjoy a donation of music lessons. The boy plays guitar and drums, and the 11-year-old girl plays guitar. Lastly, the mom asks for any leads on a cheap car. She said the family needs reliable transportation to get to work and school. She is able to pay up to $500 for a vehicle that runs well and holds at least five people.

Maryl Group Inc. — $1,000

Edwin S.N. Wong Foundation, in memory of Edwin S.N. Wong — $1,000

Stephen and Linda Ahlers — $50

Frank and Kitty Damon – $200

John Noland — $200

Mary Ann and R. Peter Knerr — $150

Susan, Stuart, Elliot, Erica, Hugh and family — $138

'Aiea Boy in Idaho Falls, Idaho — $100

Annie, Les and Lucas — $100

Robert and Kiyono Au — $100

Victori Campbell, in loving memory of Vivian Shipley —$100

Mel Cariaga — $100

Robert Corboy, in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Philip Corboy — $100

Karli, Allison and Samantha DeRego — $100

Calvin and Kayoko Endo, in memory of Masato and Dorothy Endo — $100

Howard R. and Betty E. Hayashi — $100

Ginger and Karen Kolonick, in memory of Jim Kolonick — $100

A. and H. Kon — $100

Adrian Kin Lee — $100

Margaret McGurk — $100

Shigeto and Natsuko Minami — $100

Max Minor — $100

Jordan and Jenna Nakanishi — $100

Rocco’s Family — $100

Bo and Karen Roldan — $100

Kathie Taitano — $100

James and Teresa Ventura — $100

Michael and Laurie Walsh — $100

Jean Wee, in memory of Ellen Wee Molina and Joseph Yosebe Wee — $100

Marna Rae Wickham — $100

Andrew Yamaguchi and Cheryl Ernst — $100

The Andrew Chings — $75

Henry and Jane Arita in memory of Derek Arita — $50

Mary Elizabeth Butler — $50

Glenn and Sheila Chena — $50

Steffany Ho and Keith Wong — $50

Reid Iwamoto — $50

Stanward and Doris Kim in memory of Suk Won and Kyung Oon Kim — $50

Stanward and Doris Kim in memory of Sung Hyun and Eleanore Ena — $50

Harold Miroslav Mateja — $50

Amy and David Monk — $50

Judith and Ramsay Mori — $50

Alan Okamoto — $50

Melode Reinker — $50

Leila and Dennis Sanders, in memory of Harold N. Nishimura — $50

Leila and Dennis Sanders, in memory of Grandma Fusi, Grandma Elsie and Grandpa Joe — $50

Kim and Kenneth Sasaki — $50

Timothy Smythe, in memory of Bobbye Jean Smythe — $50

Lyn and Jim Turner — $50

Herman and Maile Ventura — $50

Judith and Wendell Weatherwax — $50

Felix Tengan — $35

Juliana Boteilho, in memory of Thomas Boteilho — $30

Princess Rosebud “Rosie” — $30

Margaret Chang and Noreen Ueda — $25

Pat Franklin, in memory of Bill and Ludie Franklin — $25

Pat Franklin — $25

Lum Family of Maui — $25

Paul and Carol Murayama in memory of Masakuzu — $25

Nicole and Moanauli Namohala — $25

Charles and Susan Pignataro — $25

Carol Lee Roberts — $25

Patti and William Tildsley — $25

James and Alice Urcia — $25

Andrew and Marilyn Yoza — $25

Jose and Helena Carrancho — $20

Contemporary Tile Works — $20

Betty Ann and William Hays — $20

Sheldon Imai and Joann Segawa — $15

Dawnyette Sheldon — $10

Anonymous — $50

Anonymous — $50

Anonymous — $25

Anonymous — $125

Anonymous — $100

Anonymous — $100

Anonymous — $100

Total — $8,743

Previous total — $42,435.67

Total to date — $51,178.67

Reach Mary Vorsino at mvorsino@honoluluadvertiser.com.