Sasha Pinheiro had to take on the role of a single parent after her separation from her children’s father, an Army veteran who has been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I am raising both kids on my own because their father is dealing with these medical issues and living in a shelter,” she said. “I want him to be a parent in their lives, but things are not stable right now.”
She walks her children to and from school, and takes the bus to her job as a nurse’s aide at a senior care facility that offers in-home health care services.
“I’m trying to better my life and my kids’ future. One day, I want my own place and to own my own vehicle, but right now I’m happy with what I’ve got.”
Pinheiro receives support and guidance through Healthy Families Oahu, an agency that works with families on the Waianae coast, offering support in parenting and child development, as well as addressing other needs.
HOW TO HELP
More than 800 families will be served this year by the Good Neighbor Fund. To donate to the Pinheiro family in particular, use the Family Code: CFSHF0-09
>> At the bank: Donations will be accepted at all First Hawaiian Bank locations through Dec. 31.
>> Online: Go to HelpingHandsHawaii.org and click on the “donate now” button to make a gift via PayPal. Specify “Good Neighbor Fund.”
>> By mail: Make your check payable to “Good Neighbor Fund” and mail it to Helping Hands Hawaii, 2100 N. Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI 96819. Attention: Good Neighbor Fund.
>> Donations of goods: Drop off at the address above.
>> Call: 440-3800
“My life right now is a struggle, but I live day to day to make the best of it,” she said. “I work hard every day and try to keep my mind busy. I surround myself with positive people. It helps me to go further. It’s hard doing it by myself, but I know that I can do it.”
Pinheiro would like to work more hours but child care is a concern. “I really love working with the seniors,” she said. “It’s the best job that I could ask for.”
Shaizen, 5; A’ziah, 1
>> For herself: Medical scrubs (size extra small), purses, shoes (size 6), gift cards for clothing
>> For Shaizen: Clothing (toddler size 5), shoes (children’s 12), toys, a bicycle
>> For A’ziah: Clothing (12-18 months), toys, walking push-and-pull toys
Pinheiro is going back to school to earn her high school diploma.
Eventually, she said, she would like to study marine biology — “I’m in love with the ocean creatures,” she said — or veterinary medicine.
She is grateful that she was able to qualify to work as an aide, but says she is looking for more opportunities to secure a stable future for herself and her children.