Volunteers shower homeless families with gifts, good food … and lots of Christmas aloha

HONOLULU (HI Now) – Laughter and music filled the IHS Women’s and Family Refuge on Friday.

Volunteers brought holiday cheer to 16 homeless families, each with a different story.

We made holiday cards and key chains, and enjoyed sweets and games.

“We are a huge family community. Everyone cares about our children,” Miriam Webb said.

She and her daughters Elizabeth and Hannah lived in their car for a month before moving to the shelter. She appreciates the support.

“They grew up here, and it’s kind of a stepping stone from their being here to a permanent residence.”

At this Christmas party, it wasn’t Santa who took the family photo, but the Grinch.

But this Grinch isn’t mean. She knows her struggles with being homeless.

“Today is Christmas and you’re in the shelter and it’s kind of depressing. I just wanted to give back. I wanted to make them smile, I wanted to make them happy. And it’s all about the kids.” ” said Chasarae Poche, a domestic violence survivor who now lives in a home in Ewa Beach with his six children.

“It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of women who are without family and have not lost everything. to let you know that we are, and that while we may not be related, we are still family.

Families also received presents donated by AIO, Locations Foundation and other community partners.

Alyssa Koki, Children’s Program Manager at IHS, said:

“They may not have as much as we do, but they are very happy and have come to appreciate everything I have,” says volunteer Punahou freshman Camryn Okinaka said.

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