MAILI (HawaiiNewsNow) - While most of us are searching for that perfect gift for our loved ones, there are many more who don't have that option. It forces them to turn to others for help this holiday season.
In part one of our Helping Hands "Adopt-A-Family" series, we profile a family in Maili.
The Kilakalua family has struggled to make ends meet this year. With three kids to take care of and only one parent working, giving gifts may not happen this holiday season.
"Working our way from the bottom to the top!" That's how the Kilakalua family views their situation.
The family of five has endured through tough times, which included living on the beach in Maili and then moving to transitional housing.
"Well, it's rough because only I work and we have a lot of bills, like go by check by check, trying to survive, trying to make the best of it," Maili resident Tamara Aguiar said.
Aguiar works limited hours at Papa John's, while her fiance Kealii, remains unemployed and takes care of their three kids.
He's also one credit away from getting his GED, which should give him a better shot at getting a job.
"That would feel awesome and it'll bring me more opportunities working, more job opportunities," Kilakalua said.
And more opportunities to give their children what they need.
"I don't care about myself, I don't really want anything, my kids are all I ever wanted, that's my gift to myself, my babies," Aguiar said. "This is the oldest, Kera, she's six years old, she goes to Maili Elementary School, kindergarten, she's just wonderful, my big helper around the house."
Besides makeup and toys, Kera loves clothes.
"My son, by middle boy, he's three, Kealii Jr., typical boy, he loves to play, loves to be hard head," Aguiar said.
Kealii Jr. wouldn't mind getting a water gun or clothes.
"Then I have my little girl Keara, she's two years old, she's been through a tough time, she was born with club foot," Aguiar said. "But she's been improving, she loves to run and play and go to the beach."
Keara kindly requests make-up and clothes. The Kilakalua family's monthly income is around $1,400 a month, but nearly all of it goes to bills.
"The number one thing, kids are happy, to me that's what I think's the best about Christmas," Aguiar said.
To "Adopt" a family this holiday season or to make a monetary donation, please call Helping Hands Hawaii at 440-3803. You can also stop by any First Hawaiian Bank.