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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 7, 2007

ADVERTISER CHRISTMAS FUND
Single mom, 2 girls hoping for new clothes

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Help our neighbors in need

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

HOW TO DONATE

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 telephone, 440-3831. Monetary donations may also be dropped off at any First Hawaiian Bank branch or The Advertiser's cashier desk.

To donate online, go to www.honoluluadvertiser.com and click on the Christmas Fund icon. Monetary donations help operate Community Clearinghouse programs year-round.

The Advertiser's "secret Santa" will match the first $25 of every donation to the fund. The anonymous philanthropist last year pitched in $32,600.

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

Donations may be made to particular families, but please specify the family. The money will be given in the form of a Wal-Mart, Kmart or Longs gift certificate.

GENEROUS FANS

With the help of University of Hawai'i football fans, The Advertiser Christmas Fund collected $5,500 at the UH game at Aloha Stadium last Saturday.

Our anonymous Santa, who normally matches the first $25 of every donation, generously made an exception for the donation collected at the game and matched the entire amount.

Loomis Inc. donated its services to collect the contributions at the football game, and First Hawaiian Bank donated credit card machines.

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She was abused as a child and later as an adult by her ex-husband, who became addicted to drugs.

But when her ex-husband's actions threatened the well-being of their child, the now-single mother walked away from the abusive relationship to begin a safer life.

"I realized it was enough," said the 31-year-old woman, who didn't want to be identified.

But after escaping from one bad situation, the family still faces problems.

The single mother, who is raising two daughters in a small studio apartment, finds it difficult to make ends meet every month.

She works full time at a retail store, but when business slows, as it has now, she works fewer hours and makes less money. She doesn't collect government assistance or child support.

She's able to buy food but acknowledges it tends to be cheaper, unhealthy meals. Her brother and sister-in-law, who live nearby, often help feed the family, which she said has been a godsend.

It bothers her that she can't give her daughters more. While her 12-year-old understands the situation, her 7-year-old doesn't understand why they can't have the things other children have.

"When I was younger and I asked my mom for something, she never (gave it to me), so I told myself when I have children I want to give them what they want, what I didn't have," she said. "But the only thing I can do for them now as a single parent is to just put a (roof) ... over their head and ... (make sure) they're eating, even if it's just saimin."

Sadly, the family's problems are not just about money. Her daughters were molested by a relative who took the family in several years ago, she said. The oldest daughter, in particular, is having a hard time coping with the aftermath and is receiving counseling.

The family is just hoping to have a nice Christmas this year and is asking only for new clothing, a luxury for the mother and her girls.

The 7-year-old daughter wears a children's size 10; the 12-year-old wears a children's 14 or adult 0-1/small; and the mother wears a size small pants and medium shirt/dress.

RECENT DONATIONS TO THE ADVERTISER CHRISTMAS FUND

UH football game, Saturday

Anonymous $500

Gayle & Walter Ozawa $100

Megan Ito $25

Lorraine & Richard Saari $25

Jill Niitani $10

Helen Ohashi $10

Maile Hirota $5

Kathy Hirota $5

Tina Villanueva $5

Jacob Hogin $4.78

Matthew Lee $2

Brentyn Lee $2

Other game donations $4,806.22

Jonathan & Mildred Car $1,000

James & Doris Tomita $200

Mary Ann & R. Peter Knerr $150

Cheong & Yuriko Lum $150

Malia, Daniel & Michael $150

Ron Amasol $100

June Anderson $100

Aunty Marian's Grooming $100

Nancy M. Bannick $100

Jennifer Crites $100

Sheila Davis $100

Robert & Norene Hazzard $100

Harriet Maruyama, in memory of M/M Yoshikazu Morimoto $100

Garret Masuda $100

Larry & Yasuko Nakamoto $100

Henry Oyama $100

Robert Oyama, in memory of Mabel M. Oyama $100

Rosei Shinsato $100

Robert M. & Diane Sumie McCoy Witt $100

Andrew Yamaguchi & Cheryl Ernst $100

Joseph Cuarisma Jr. $75

Kymbal Roley $75

Herbert & Charlotte Bara $50

Karli, Allison & Samantha DeRego $50

Arthur & Rosemary Eberhardt $50

John & Jeanette Hoag $50

Watson W.S. & Doris Tak Yee P. Li $50

M. McCabe $50

Randy Nakashima $50

Ayako Nishimoto & Sharon Otagaki $50

Sylvia Schmidt $50

Helena Tibbs & Ronnie Roberts $50

Benito Depasopil $30

Jeanne Bay & John Dondero $25

Larry & Eleanor Graff $25

Noelani H.A. Hara $25

Lloyd & Michelle Hataishi $25

Ingeborg Hopkins, in loving memory of my dear husband, Wendell P. Hopkins $25

Victor & Maureen Kreck $25

Kristy Nakamoto $25

Rosaline Noneza $25

Capt. Blane & Chaplain Diane Wilson $25

Anonymous $380

Anonymous $200

Anonymous $100

Anonymous, in memory of my beloved husband $50

Anonymous Wahiawa family for the Leilehua Mules & Hawai'i Warriors for providing a magical season of both athleticism & character $50

Anonymous $50

Anonymous $10

Total $10,395

Previous total $47,289.64

Total to date $ 57,684.64

Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com.