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Hawaii News

Good Neighbor Fund helps those in need during holiday season

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2018
                                James Li, left, the program manager for Helping Hands Hawaii, fullfilled wish lists last Christmas for adopted families with the help of employees Kiana Yamashita, left, Jasmine Quinn and Victoria Harstad. Some of the items on the list included new toys, clothes, shoes, slippers, household goods and appliances and gift cards. Li is preparing donations again for this holiday season.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / 2018

    James Li, left, the program manager for Helping Hands Hawaii, fullfilled wish lists last Christmas for adopted families with the help of employees Kiana Yamashita, left, Jasmine Quinn and Victoria Harstad. Some of the items on the list included new toys, clothes, shoes, slippers, household goods and appliances and gift cards. Li is preparing donations again for this holiday season.

The 2019 holiday season is right around the corner, signaling the start of the annual Good Neighbor Fund fundraising campaign to help hundreds of in-need individuals and families enjoy the holidays and get back on their feet.

“It’s really during the holiday times when some of these challenges experienced by these families are magnified,” said James Li, program manager for Helping Hands Hawaii’s Adopt A Family program.

The Good Neighbor Fund helps support Adopt A Family, which provides assistance to those who are facing some kind of struggle, whether it be with finances, health, employment or otherwise.

“Something we take for granted like simply giving a gift to a child, for example, is very difficult for some of these families that are experiencing challenging financial circumstances,” Li said.

The campaign is a partnership between Helping Hands Hawaii, the Honolulu Star­-Advertiser and the First Hawaiian Bank.

The Adopt A Family program is working with about 3,000 individuals this year.

Li said the program brings together families with “the generous donor community.” Prospective donors can make monetary or material donations to the Good Neighbor Fund, and they can also adopt participating families, who fill out wish lists for gifts that donors can review and provide for their adopted families. The gifts will reach the families before Christmas Day.

The program has helped foster connections between families and their donor.

Those interested can help in a variety of other ways, too. Li said businesses can help organize drives to bring in donations, and volunteers can help in the warehouse.

“As long as you have the heart to do it, there are always ways to help out,” he said.

Li said Helping Hands Hawaii takes pride in its ability to help participating families.

“We have maintained, over the years, a 100% adoption rate, meaning nobody has ever gone into the program and has left empty-­handed,” he said.

HOW TO HELP

>> At the bank: Donations are accepted at First Hawaiian Bank locations through Dec. 31.

>> Online: Go to helpinghandshawaii.org and click on the “donate” button to make a gift via PayPal. Specify “Good Neighbor Fund.”

>> By mail: Send a check payable to “Good Neighbor Fund” to Helping Hands Hawaii, 2100 N. Nimitz Highway, Hono­lulu, HI 96819. Attention: Good Neighbor Fund.

>> Donations of goods: Drop them off at the address above.

>> Call: 440-3800

>> Email: aaf@helpinghandshawaii.org

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